Sexual Content in the Media and its Influence on Adolescents
Sex is everywhere making it hard to miss. You turn on the television or radio and you will hear or see something about sex. You drive down the street and you are bound to see an advertisement showing a sexualized image. I would be lying if I said that I have never been affected by a steamy scene in a movie but as an adult I have the necessary maturity to behave responsibly in response to my physiological arousal brought on by what I had viewed. Youth on the other hand may not have the same maturity and perceive what they are being shown as being acceptable and a good way to express their desires that puberty is subjecting them to.
In the ideal world today’s youth would be properly educated about sex and what are and are not appropriate ways to deal with the feeling that are evoked by puberty but this is not the case. It is expected that parents will talk to their kids about the “birds and the bees” but parents often fail to provide adequate discusses to fully educate their children on such an uncomfortable but vital topic (Brown,L’engle, Pardun, Guo, Kenneavy, & Jackson 2006).
It is also sometimes assumed that even if the youth’s parents do not educate them the school system is there to save the day but schools are limited in what they can teach. Schools are only funded to teach about abstinence until marriage and provide statistics about how often contraceptives fail (Brown et.a l. 2006). So what are teens learning from the authority figures in their lives? Very little, and many teens are not applying their main lesion of abstinence in their lives.
In the United States it has been found that 46% high-school students (Collins, Berry, Kanouse, Kunkel, Hunter,& Miu, 2004) have had sexual intercourse. This percentage shows that even if adolescents are not learning about sex from the adults in their lives they are still getting information from some source. This source may be the media. The...