Open in a separate window Data from reference 13 Finally, increased knowledge and longitudinal research in this area requires greater advocacy and commitment by paediatricians. Researchers have documented the growing prevalence of sexual talk and portrayals of sexual behavior in televised media, as well as associations between adolescent viewing patterns and their sexual activities. Further, we know that teens spend a great deal of time watching television. Age or stage of development also influences comprehension and interpretation of sexual content. Importantly, this research used statistical modeling that showed that attention to alcohol advertising increases adolescent drinking, whereas drinking does not influence attention to alcohol advertising.
The average teen spends 3 h to 4 h per day in front of the television, which in some cases is more time than that spent in the classroom 2 , 3. The Kaiser Institute has studied both the frequency and content of sexual messages during the family hour on the main American television networks. Strasburger VC, Donnerstein E. Research on exposure to violent content in the media provides some support for these views. In a study of sexual innuendo on television, 29 year-old youths were less likely to understand suggestive material than and year-olds. Kaiser Family Foundation; For example, is time spent on the computer interfering with homework, extracurricular activities or time usually spent with friends? A recent study of African American girls aged 14 to 18 years found that teens with either multiple sexual partners or a history of sexually transmitted infections reported a higher rate of viewing television shows that depicted women as sexual objects or prizes. In one study of 75 adolescent girls, one-half of whom were pregnant, the researchers found that the pregnant teens watched more soap operas before becoming pregnant and were less likely to think that their favourite soap opera characters would use birth control 9. Physicians should address preadolescent and adolescent patients' use of electronic media and the Internet, television viewing patterns, and viewing of R- or X-rated movies or videos when taking a thorough medical history to assess for risk behavior and as a mechanism for discussing sexual knowledge and plans. Sells C, Blum R. Adolescent sexuality and the media: How are we doing in Canada? While all age groups potentially could be affected by sexual messages on television, adolescents may be particularly vulnerable for a number of reasons. Sex and the Mass Media. The AGCOT is a volunteer, nonprofit organization that was created in to enable Canadian broadcasting and cable industries to address issues associated with violence on television. Despite the fact that the research lags behind technology, as paediatricians we can be actively educating parents about media effects and giving anticipatory guidance to our patients and their parents. A three-part study of sexual content on television We could not find comparable studies of developmental influences on boys' understanding and interpretation of sexual content. Who watches television with you? Clearly our youth live in a media-saturated environment. An overview of data and trends. Do you surf the Internet? In Canada, teenage girls have the highest chlamydia and gonorrhea rates compared with any other age group 7. A review of current knowledge and implications.
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