Influenceof Sex on TV in Young Teenagers
Today`steenagers are constantly bombarded with sexual images in televisionprograms, music videos, films and, of course, there is the internet.It is clear that, modern teens are more than ever having the pressureof either engaging or participating in some form of sexualactivities. In addition, more teenagers are reporting cases ofgetting pregnant at the age of even 12 years old. Such sexualexposure means that teenagers are at risk of contracting sexuallytransmitted diseases in addition to getting pregnant and all these isattributable to explicit sexual content on television. In thisessay, the author will research on the question of whether T.V showswith sexual content are to blame for increasing cases of teenagepregnancies and sexual activities.
Growing up in a conservative family, speaking of sex is a taboo, butit seems that times have highly changed, and sexual content is theorder of the day for today`s teenagers. According to an article bySteinberg and Monahan, adolescent exposure to sexy media does nothasten the initiation of sexual content, the two authors refuteclaims that exposure to sexual images does not lead to sexualactivities among teenagers. These remarks are very interestingconsidering that the article points out that sexual content appearson television programs 70% of the time. This content includesactivities ranging from passionate kissing, explicit sexual images,and intimate touching. Sexual talk also forms a considerable part oftelevision programming by registering 68% in television programs(Steinberg and Monahan). Sexual content is aired during prime timeshows that exceed the number of sex scenes allowed on air. It wouldbe naive to suggest that sexual context on television does not leadto increased sexual activities among teenagers. This is after hasbeen established that more teenagers are sexually active and are evencontracting sexually transmitted diseases at an early age. Forinstance, research suggests that there has been an increase in thenumber of teenagers who report to clinics due to sexually relatedactivities.
Severaltheories have been put across to explain the influence of sexualcontent on television programs on teenagers. The cultivation theorystates that television exposure might lead to some belief that whatis presented on television sets is an accurate depiction of realityin the society. In addition, the social learning theory suggests thatindividuals are more than likely to imitate other’s people behaviorespecially when their behavior is not punished and but insteadrewarded. This is especially the case when viewers look up to theactors on television programs as their role models (Deborah et al’).The two theories suggest that increased exposure to sexual explicitimages on television might lead to sexual activities among teenagers.This is because, the teenagers believe that they have to fit in thesociety and engage in sex because everybody is doing it. Televisionprograms have a way of presenting sex in a distorted way because itpresents the experience as a pleasurable experience that does nothave consequences at the end of the day. The disconnect between sexand the negative effects such as contracting sexually transmitteddiseases and getting pregnant has been blamed for the rising cases ofteenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. In other words,the teenagers realize the consequences of sex later on by themselvessince it was never portrayed on television shows. Teenagers are alsoprone to engage in sexual activities especially after being exposedto sexual content on television because they are still in thedevelopment stage, and they are more likely to make erroneousdecisions in life.
Inanother study, it was established that exposure to sexual contentamong teenagers may have a direct effect on their sexual behavior.The study also found out that delaying sexual content, and exposureto teenagers has positive effects on teenagers as far sexualactivities are concerned (Elliott el al’). In the study, two groupsof adolescents were exposed to different television programs. Thefirst group was exposed to television programs that were sexuallysuggestive, meaning there were talks about sex and some sexual acts.The other group was not exposed to sexual content in the televisionprograming. At the end of the study, it was established that, thefirst group exposure to sexual content had a correlation with theirsexual activities. This is owing to the fact that, they registeredtwice the number of pregnancies compared to the control group(Nauert).In addition, the study suggested that while exposure to sexualcontent plays a role in increased sexual activity among adolescents,teenagers should watch television with their parents (Dafna). Afterall, parents have a role to play in providing guidance to theirchildren. Parents should always be aware of what their parents arewatching on television and should share their belief and theiropinions on what their children are watching on television.
Whileit is evident that sexual content exposure among teenagers leads toincreased sexual activities, television shows should not be subjectedto all the blame. Teenagers are curious, and it takes two to tangle,the society is also responsible for not guiding teens in making theright decisions. For instance, one has to ask where the parents arewhen the teenagers are exposed to explicit sexual images. Parents cancontrol the television programs teenagers have access to by lockingtelevision programs depending on their ratings (Brier).
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Nauert,Rick. TVSex Influences Teen Pregnancy.2008. 10 April 2015<http://psychcentral.com/news/2008/11/05/tv-sex-influences-teen-pregnancy/3269.html>.
Steinberg,Laurence, and Kathryn C. Monahan. "Adolescents` Exposure To SexyMedia Does Not Hasten The Initiation Of Sexual Intercourse."DevelopmentalPsychology47.2 (2011): 562-576. AcademicSearch Elite.Web.25 Mar. 2015.
Fisher,Deborah A., et al. "Sex On American Television: An AnalysisAcross Program Genres And Network Types." JournalOf Broadcasting & Electronic Media48.4 (2004): 529-553. AcademicSearch Elite.Web.27. Mar. 2015.
Lemish,Dafna. "`Can`t Talk About Sex`: Producers Of Children`sTelevision Around The World Speak Out." SexEducation11.3 (2011): 267-277. AcademicSearch Elite.Web.31 Mar. 2015.
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