This collection explores the sexual content of U.S. mass media and its influence in the lives of adolescents. Contributors address the topic of sexuality broadly, including evidence not only about physical sex acts, but also about the role the media play in the development of gender roles, standards of beauty, courtship, and relationship norms.
Chapters included here present new perspectives on what teens are paying attention to in the media, and offer insight into how teens are understanding and applying what the media present about sex and sexuality. Employing various methodological approaches, the studies also represent a diversity of adolescent audiences and deal with a wide variety of media content, ranging from teens' favorite TV programs to magazines, movies, music, and teen girls' Web pages. Taken as a whole, this volume highlights the significant roles the media play in adolescents' sexual lives. Sexual Teens, Sexual Media contributes important evidence to the ongoing debate over media effects, making it essential reading for scholars and students in media studies, as well as social and developmental psychology.
Table of Contents
Contents: J.D. Brown, J.R. Steele, K. Walsh-Childers, Preface. J.D. Brown, J.R. Steele, K. Walsh-Childers, Introduction and Overview. M.J. Sutton, J.D. Brown, K.M. Wilson, J.D. Klein, Shaking the Tree of Knowledge for Forbidden Fruit: Where Adolescents Learn About Sexuality and Contraception. Part I:Television. K.M. Cope-Farrar, D. Kunkel, Sexual Messages in Teens' Favorite Prime-Time Television Programs. B.S. Greenberg, S.W. Smith, Daytime Talk Shows: Up Close and in Your Face. L.M. Ward, B. Gorvine, A. Cytron-Walker, Would That Really Happen? Adolescents' Perceptions of Sexual Relationships According to Prime-Time Television. L.J. Hofschire, B.S. Greenberg, Media's Impact on Adolescents' Body Dissatisfaction. Part II:Magazines. K. Walsh-Childers, A. Gotthoffer, C.R. Lepre, From "Just the Facts" to "Downright Salacious": Teen's and Women's Magazine Coverage of Sex and Sexual Health. D. Treise, A. Gotthoffer, Stuff You Couldn't Ask Your Parents: Teens Talking About Using Magazines for Sex Information. J. Wray, J.R. Steele, Girls in Print: Figuring out What It Means to Be a Girl. Part III:Movies, Music, the Internet. C.J. Pardun, Romancing the Script: Identifying the Romantic Agenda in Top-Grossing Movies. J.R. Steele, Teens and Movies: Something to Do, Plenty to Learn. J.J. Arnett, The Sounds of Sex: Sex in Teens' Music and Music Videos. S. Stern, Sexual Selves on the World Wide Web: Adolescent Girls' Home Pages as Sites of Sexual Self-Expression.
"...while this book is not intended as a clinical guide to assessment, it does aim to provide a theoretical framework that can help clinicians develop a clearer understanding of what comprehension involves, and how different types of difficulty may be pinpointed."
"The strengths of this volume are many. First, the interdisciplinary backgrounds of the researchers (including developmental psychology, human development, communication, journalism) add a richness of perspectives to the endeavor. The writing is accessible to the general public as well as to specialized scholars, but is sufficiently detailed and footnoted to satisfy the latter. Second, the various methods employed in the studies, both quantitative and qualitative (including content analyses, representative surveys, focus groups, interviews, and laboratory experiment), converge to offer a kind of triangulation, clarifying diverse facets of media content and adolescent usage, from the micro-to the macro-level. Third, the authors not only present their findings ably, but also discuss the implications of their findings for more effective and responsible sex education for children and youth, suggesting more active and informed roles for parents, peers, educators, health professionals, and even the media themselves."
—Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
"Brown, et al. provides a strong background for understanding the process of how youth select and use media content. The book provides an important contribution to the on-going public concern about youth and exposure to sexual media content. Sexual Teens, Sexual Media is well organized, thoroughly documented, and extremely well indexed. This book adds an important resource to the discussion of teens' exposure to mediated sexual content and will be a useful resource to parents, educators, and health advocates."
—Communication Research Trends
"Sexual Teens, Sexual Media: Investigating Media's Influence on Adolescent Sexuality provides an interesting overview of the research currently being conducted in media effects and media consumption by American youth. It is well written, interesting and presents an important snapshot of sexual content in the US media in the late 1990s."