MEDIA AND SEX By: Ally Yeargan Edgar Garcia Haruna Hori Jack Jones Meggie Ferreira Nik Perri Scott Fantana
WHAT IS SEX IN MEDIA?
SEXUAL CONTENT THAT CONTAINS:
Sexual behavior, such as kissing, intimate touching, and implied or depicted intercourse. Talks about sex and sexual plans or desires or about sex that has occurred.
Sex & Media Statistics:
* 75 percent of prime time television in the 1999-2000 season included sexual content * 23 percent of couples in scenes with intercourse appeared to be ages 18-24 * Movies have an 87% likelihood of presenting sexual material * The average American adolescent will view nearly 14,000 sexual references per year * Premarital sex is referred to two or three times every hour in soap operas * More than 3 out of 4 Americans say the way television programs show sex encourages irresponsible sexual behavior
Continued… * 12-17 year old young men are most susceptible and vulnerable to mass media sexual portrayals * 66 percent of children (ages 10-16) surveyed say their peers are influenced by television shows * 64 percent of all shows include sexual content, and only 15% mention waiting, protection, and consequences * Playboy’s largest cable channel, Playboy TV, is available in 24 million of the nation’s 81 million homes that receive satellite, cable or digital television
Continued… * “The Center for Media and Public Affairs’ new study found that sexual content is featured once every four minutes on network TV, with 98% of all sexual content having no subsequent physical consequences, 85% of sexual behavior having no lasting emotional impact, and that nearly 75% of the participants in sexual activity were unmarried.” * Sexual content on prime-time TV more than tripled in the past ten years * 40 percent of teenagers have gotten ideas for how to talk to their boyfriends and girlfriends about sexual issues from entertainment media
* 59 percent of parents say their 4-6 year-old boys imitate aggressive behavior from television * Teenagers who watch a lot of television with sexual content are twice as likely to engage in intercourse as those who watch few such programs according to a study headed by the RAND Corp. and funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development * Teens ages 13-15 rank entertainment media as the top source of information about sexuality and sexual health Continued…
MOST RECENT FINDINGS * Number of Sexual Scenes on TV Nearly Double Since 1998 * Rate of “Safer Sex” Messages, Up From ’98, Has Now Leveled Off * Despite Overall Increase in Sexual Content, Scenes with Sexual Intercourse are Down Slightly in Recent Years
Additional findings: Sexual Content on TV * Among the top 20 most watched shows by teens, 70% include sexual content, and nearly half (45%) include sexual behavior. * During prime time hours sex is even more common with nearly 8 in 10 (77%) shows including sexual content, averaging 5.9 sexual scenes per hour. Two-thirds (68%) of all shows include talk about sex and 35% of all shows include sexual behaviors. * Reality shows are the only genre of programming in which less than two-thirds (28%) of shows include sexual content. The percentage of shows with sexual content by genre includes movies 92%, sitcoms 87%, drama series 87%, and soap operas 85%.
Safer Sex M essages * Two-thirds of all references to sexual risks or responsibilities on TV are “minor or inconsequential,” compared to one-third that are “substantial” or “primary” elements of the scene. Since the first study was conducted in 1998 this ratio has remained consistent. * One in nine (11%) network prime time shows with sex include a reference to risks or responsibilities. This rate in prime time has held relatively steady over the years – 11% in 1998 and 13% in 2002. * Among the 20 most highly rated shows for teen viewers, 10% of those with sexual content include a reference to sexual risks or responsibilities at some point in the episode. “ Over the past seven years, more and more Hollywood writers have incorporated health messages into their programming,” said Vicky Rideout. “But the potential is there to do much more.” Sexual Intercourse * The vast majority (89%) of characters on TV involved in sexual intercourse appear to be adults age 25 or older. One in ten (10%) appear to be teens or young adults, down from one in four (26%) in 1998 and one in six (17%) in 2002. * About half of all scenes with intercourse (53%) involve characters who have an established relationship with one another. Fifteen percent of scenes present characters having sex when they have just met – up from 7% in 2002.
Does Watching Sex on Television Influence Teens ’ Sexual Activity? Key findings: * Teens who watch a lot of television with sexual content are more likely to initiate intercourse in the following year. * Television in which characters talk about sex affects teens just as much as television that actually shows sexual activity. * Shows that portray the risks of sex can help educate teens.
Shows that portray the risks of sex can help educate teens… Sex in the media is often presented as a casual activity without risk or consequences. Watching shows with sexual content may influence teen sexual behavior, but also some viewing effects can be positive. Shows with content about contraception and pregnancy can help to educate teens about the risks and consequences of sex -a nd can also foster beneficial dialogue between teens and parents. Talks about or behavior showing the risks of or the need for safety in regard to sexual activity: abstinence, waiting to have sex, portrayals mentioning or showing contraceptives, and portrayals related to consequences, such as AIDS, STDs, pregnancy, and abortion, can also have positive effects on viewers. At the same time, increasing the percentage of portrayals of sexual risk and safety relative to other sexual content might inhibit early sexual activity, as a result of increased knowledge of sexual risks and how to be safe.
% of Shows With Sex Content:
MEDIA AND SEX
ON THE PAPER!
Ways To Minimize Children Exposure to Sexual Content
Parents can and should do what they can to control the information and entertainment that comes into their home.
Having parents view programs with their children and discuss their own beliefs regarding the behavior depicted.
Make it as difficult as possible for them to have access or to be tempted by sexual content in your home or neighborhood.
Certain programs and channels will have to be off-limits.
Setting rules for their children that have consequences if violated.
Collins, Rebecca L., Marc N. Elliott, Sandra H. Berry, David E. Kanouse, Dale Kunkel, Sarah B. Hunter, and Angela Miu, “Watching Sex on Television Predicts Adolescent Initiation of Sexual Behavior,” Pediatrics, Vol. 114, No. 3, September 2004. Your Children & Pornography: A guide for Parents, Tom Buford. Tommera Press, 2001. Sex on TV: Content and Context. The Kaiser Family Foundation, 5 February, 2001. Sexuality, Contraception, and the Media. American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Public Education, January, 2001.