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How Media Establishes a Personal of Sexual Behavior for Adolescents: An Analysis on the Affects of Media on the Sexual Behavior on Adolescents"

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Modern technology has made a lot more items more affordable which increases the number of people who own these items. But, with this increase in technology comes some misuse in how it is used and how some things are interpreted. In today's society teenage pregnancies have increased rapidly over the nation and are making adolescents grow up a lot faster than they should have to. It is hard to say if television promotes adolescents to have sex or the fact that they are having sex makes them comfortable watching these shows. I believe that adolescents who grow up around a lot of technology become less aware of the consequences of sexual behavior which in turn increases their chances of performing such acts as sexting or physical behavior. I believe this because as a teenage girl growing up in this technology infested society it is hard to stay clear of the peer pressures of televised shows promoting sexual actions without consequences and mostly showing "happy endings" for those who have these consequences happen to them. Two of the main sources of these problems are television and cell phones; this paper will analyze the usage of these and how adolescents exploit the lessons they learn.

How television affects sexual behavior

Television has become a necessity in an adolescent's life in today's culture. The average teen watches television about three hours a day. According to an experiment to measure sexual messages in a sample of common programming in 2001-2002 conduct by an online article, Watching Sex on Television Predicts Adolescent Initiation of Sexual Behavior, sexual content appeared in 64% of all television programming. In these shows there is an average of 4.4 sexual scenes per hour and approximately one out of every seven shows include a portrayal of sexual intercourse by either depicting it or strongly implying it. By exposing adolescents to this much sexual content leads them to contrast their idea of the "cultural norms" and made to believe that sex in a more central part of everyday life. Collins et al. believe the more adolescents see a sexual behavior performed without any harsh consequences makes them adopt the behaviors shown. While some shows depict the risks of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or pregnancy this only occurs in 15% of programs with sexual content. This means that only one out of seven television shows include any kind of "safe" sex message and in nearly 63% of these instances are mostly inconsequential in their emphasis in the scene and as a result television is showing a more positive light on television than a negative one.

A great example of this is the show Degrassi; this television first came out in 1987 with some typical students in junior high. This show had it controversies like who they were going to take to the dance or is does their crush like them back. But, throughout the years Degrassi has transformed from this "goody two shoes" image. In recent seasons of the show the drama has increasingly gotten more rebellious. The show is now showing sexual acts, teens are getting pregnant, abusing drugs and alcohol and murders are occurring. As a viewer of both eras of the show it makes you wonder how the creators of the modern show think this will affect the adolescent viewers of the show. But, this is not the only thing on television that has changed. MTV used to be a channel for watching the 'hippest' music however, if you were to flip this channel on today you would see shows with majorly different subjects. For example, the show Jersey Shore has been a hit with adolescents since the first season. I believe this is because this group goes around partying and having sex basically every episode which is a life most adolescents would want to live. Other MTV shows with bad messages are Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant while both these shows don't seem to be intentionally showing positive outcomes for these girls but, in some ways they are promoting girls having children at younger ages. For example, I have had girls in my school saying it doesn't matter than they are not practicing safe sex or care if they get pregnant because they will live off the money MTV gives them to be on those shows. It isn't quite clear why these messages affect adolescents but one thing that is clear is that teens are somehow translating this entertainment into life lessons.

In another article, Social Cognitive Processes Mediating the Relationship between Exposure to Television's Sexual Content and Adolescents ' Sexual Behavior, Steven Martino concluded that nearly two thirds of young Americans have engaged in sexual intercourse by the time they graduate high school. And while this has become a part of being a teenager most have said they regret engaging in sexual intercourse meaning that they engage in this behavior before being ready for the consequences. In the U.S. in the year 2000, out of 18.9 million cases of STDs almost 9.1 million of these cases were in the age range of 15 to 24. This article suggests that one of the key contributors is television and proposes that primetime network shows an average of 10 sexual portrayals in an hour. But, they believe that television is less explicit than music videos and movies because television confines itself to talking about sex, physical flirting, passionate kissing, and intimate touching. However when thinking about it adolescents watch on average 3 hours of television makes an enormous influence. After reading other research, Martino found that the psychological process by which exposure to sexual content on TV influences adolescents' sexual experiences had not been established. And by thinking under the social cognitive theory one would believe that adolescents "make inferences and attributions, and acquire scripts, schemas, and normative beliefs that then guide their subsequent behavior" (Martino) by a role model. This then leads to the hypothesis that adolescents learn their beliefs about sex and confidence in their own sexual ability as a result of viewing sexual content on television.

Martino introduces three key variables to the social cognitive theory, the feeling of safe- sex self efficacy, the belief of social benefits, and the thought that their peers are engaging in these habits. The feeling of safe-sex efficacy is the feeling that being able to speak with their potential partner about sexually sensitive topics increased sexual experiences in adolescents. The belief that social benefits will occur from sexual behavior also increases the level of sexual behavior. For example, if Jim believes that by having sex will not only increase his chances of getting the head of the cheer squad but also get him some new friends above him in the social ladder, Jim will engage in sexual intercourse more than if he

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