Effects Of Teen Sexuality On Teens

Sexuality cannot be exposed to teens through media without having any effects on sexual behavior and their “knowledge” about sex. According to the article on Teen Health and the Media:

• Sexual intercourse is depicted or strongly implied in one of every ten shows on TV.

• Of those instances of sexual intercourse either depicted or strongly implied, only half occurred among couples who had an established relationship with one another. Ten Percent involved couples who had just met.

• Only 10% of all television programs contain sexual scenes that include any reference to the possible risks or responsibilities associated with sex, including pregnancy or STDs. However, shows that depict teens in sexual situations, especially those involved in sexual intercourse, are much more likely than other shows to include references to the possible uses or responsibilities of sexual activity. While eight percent of all shows contain sexual content involving teens, nearly 20 percent make some reference to waiting to have sex, safer sex or the risks of sexual activity.

• 9% of TV programs include some sexual content involving teens. While two years ago, 3% of all characters involved in intercourse were teens, today that figured has jumped to 9%.

• According to a study prepared for the Kaiser Family Foundation, fifty hours of programming selected included 156 acts of sexual intercourse and only five references within three episodes to contraception or safer sex. The only mention of HIV/AIDS referred to contraction through IV drug use and not sexual activity.

Acknowledging these points, teens are more likely to accept of the idea of nonmarital sex. Teens do not go unaffected from these exposures; “In a Kaiser Family Foundation study, 76 percent of teens said that one reason young people have sex is because TV shows and movies make it seem normal for teens” (Media Affects Adolescent Sexuality And Social Development). Teens will continue to be influenced as long as the sexual messages are being portrayed through media and it does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Works Cited:

"Fast Facts." Teen Health and the Media. Teen Futures Media Network. Web. 15 Nov. 2010. <http://depts.washington.edu/thmedia/view.cgi?section=medialiteracy&page=fastfacts>.

Teenage Girls - 25% Have an STD (Sex Health Guru). Youtube.com. Sex Health Guru, 03 Nov. 2008. Web. 2 Dec. 2010. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5gOD9p6jGU>.

*Allee A.**