Mass Media and Adolescence: How Mass Media Influence Teens in Their Sexual Behavior

3064 words 13 pages
Mass media plays a paramount role in today’s society, as it showers over increasing numbers of people all around the world. Used to communicate news and events on a daily basis, mass media is defined as those media that are designed to be consumed by large audiences through the agencies of technology. Mass media caters to a diverse audience, ranging from children, to adolescents, to adults. Amongst said audiences, “Adolescents are vigorous users of the information broadcasted in media” (Werner-Wilson, Morrissey & Fitzharris, 2004).
G Stanley Hall, a renowned American psychologist believed that the stages of adolescence reflected a stage in the human evolutionary past when there was a great deal of upheaval and disorder- with the result
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(1993) “Two thirds of Hollywood movies made each year are R-rated but most people have seen these movies long before they are the required 16 years old. (as explained in Stern & Handel, 2001)
Following the subject of cinema, the influence of television on adolescents’ sexual behavior seems to be predominant nowadays. As technological advances are growing , the access to the media through television is becoming more common in US households: 98% have at least one television, 70% have more than one television, 70% have cable, and 51% of household with children have a computer. (Werner- Wilson et. al. 2004) According to the Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, when an adolescent watches sex on TV, it predicts and may advance the adolescents’ sexual behavior. It was also found in the same longitudinal study that even talking about sex on TV, may have the same effect on adolescents. According to Brown and Newcomer (1991), teens who watch sexually explicit TV most probably have already had sexual intercourse. “A longitudinal study found a significant relationship between watching sexy TV in early adolescence and earlier initiation of sexual intercourse in middle and late adolescence” (Petersen, Moore, & Furstenberg, 1991). In fact, the Academy of Pediatrics put forward that viewing sexual content on television may cause early introduction to sex in adolescents.

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