Media Influences

So whether you think sexuality’s prevalence in today’s society is good, bad, happy, or sad, it definitely raises some questions. Is society taking a downfall? Are morals soon to be unheard of? With sexual encounters happening at younger ages and the media throwing sex around like it’s nothing, are today’s teens, tweens, and children at a higher risk for STD’s, teenage pregnancy, and other consequences of sex? Are we too open about our sexuality? Is it too late to change? All are questions that race through my mind when I looked at these statistics from the following website:

  • 47% of tweens and 37% of 11 and 12-year olds say they’ve been in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.
  • 72% say dating relationships begin by age 14.

Nearly one-third of tweens and parents say sexual activity is a part of tween dating relationships.
Specifically, the percentage of tweens and parents identified below acknowledge the following acts as part of a dating relationship:

  • Touching and feeling up – 37% of tweens and 31% of parents
  • Oral sex – 27% of tweens and 26% of parents
  • Sexual intercourse – 28% of tweens and 26% of parents

Maybe I’m the only one who found these results absolutely shocking… even more so when I realized that their definition of a tween is a person between the ages of 11 and 14. What has happened to today’s society? How much is to blame on parenting? The media?

At risk of not wording it better myself, “adolescents may be exposed to sexual content in the media during a developmental period when gender roles, sexual attitudes, and sexual behaviors are being shaped.” This makes teens and tweens particularly vulnerable due to their not-fully-developed cognitive processes. Because of this inability to decipher between what is dramatized and what is socially acceptable, the decisions teens make continue to be influenced by what may or may not be accurately represented in the media. Typically sex, unprotected and frequently premarital, is glamorized and presented in a positive light. Statistics show that “on average, teenaged viewers see 143 incidents of sexual behavior” on television each week.

 Popular shows like Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and 16 and Pregnant are all contributors to this moral dilemma, and those are just a few to say the least. While it is arguable that the latter two try to show the consequences of being sexually active, in some girls minds it’s glamorizing teen pregnancy, making it look easy and desirable even. However, maybe its more shows like this, down to the nitty-gritty and shockingly personal, that we need.

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Somewhere down the line we need to take a look at ourselves and realize if this is a life we want to continue to lead and pass down to our children. I plan to add more to this topic later in the week.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    p.s. does anyone know how to make videos show up without being links?

  2. 2

    bagentleman said,

    I want to know where all this stuff was when I was in middle school!

    And to answer your question, in the New Post page (the tab should be at the very top of your dashboard’s page) there’s a “Upload/Insert” row right above the type box. It’s the second icon. The problem is that you have to have the video saved to your computer, so that will probably be a little tough if you want to do something like a Youtube video.

    So… I did a little research. Underneath where the Youtube uploader’s name is (where you can subscribe and read more about the video) there’s a slot that says “Embed”. Just copy what’s in there (if it lets you) and paste it into your post. It worked for me pretty well.

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