Mass Media Influences on Sexuality (Research)

Posted on April 23, 2010, in Children, Internet, Relationships, Research, STD, Teens

Publication Information

Title: Mass Media Influences on Sexuality
Publication: The Journal of Sex Research (Vol. 39, No. 1)
Author: Jane D. Brown
Date: 02/15/2007

The mainstream mass media (television, magazines, movies, music, and the Internet) provide increasingly frequent portrayals of sexuality. Often such media conveys that sex is consequence-free, rarely planned, and more a matter of lust than love, and rarely do they highlight the negative consequences of non-marital sex. Relatively little is known about how media content is used and how it affects sexual beliefs and behaviors. The few available studies suggest that the media do have an impact because the media keep sexual behavior on public and personal agendas, media portrayals reinforce a relatively consistent set of sexual and relationship norms, and the media rarely depict sexually responsible models. More longitudinal research, especially with early adolescents is needed to learn more about how media content is attended to, interpreted, and incorporated into developing sexual lives.


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