Adolescents, sex, and the media.
Additional Document Info
In the absence of effective sex education in the United States, the media have arguably become the leading sex educator for children and teenagers. Considerable research now exists that attests to the ability of the media to influence adolescents' attitudes and beliefs about sex and sexuality. In addition, new research has found a significant link between exposure to sexual content in the media and earlier onset of sexual intercourse. Although there is little research on the behavioral effects of "new" media, they are discussed as well. Suggestions for clinicians, parents, the federal government, and the entertainment industry are provided.