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Media’s Portrayal of Sexuality Essay

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“The media is a driving force in shaping a nation and is no less influential in affecting the sexuality of adolescents”. (Bonin, 2012) The media will portray sex as a commodity, without actually acknowledging the dangers behind some sexual behaviors. There are several types of media that adolescents tune into which includes music, videos, movies, television shows, and video games. All of these can portray sex, risqué behavior, and violence as the normal part of our society. Adolescents are not learning about the dangers of sexual asphyxiation through the media instead they are unfortunately learning it through experience or through the loss of a friend. Sex has been put out there as “sex sells” which can pressure teens into having sex before they are ready and that casual sex is readily accepted which can make it hard on teenagers.

I believe when I was a teenager there was just as much pressure then as there is now. In the 80s and early 90s we had movies that portrayed sex, drugs, and alcohol along with music. I think that if the media had set a better example of what the effects would have been then I probably wouldn’t have felt so pressured into having sex before I was ready. My parents were never really open about sex so I basically learned from the media and friends.

However the media does have some positive effects as well in the portrayal of sexuality. There are news casts that unveil the prevalence of sexual issues. The news covers the risk of unprotected sex which can lead to teen pregnancy or AIDS, the effects of alcohol, and sexual asphyxiation. The only problem is with the way the media covers these issues I do not believe they are not offered in a venue in which teens will want to watch or listen, I think to them news stories are not interesting which in return these issues do not get across to them.

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I believe this is when parents need to step up and encourage their children to watch and listen to this type of media coverage so that they learn about sex and what it can cause if not taken seriously. The pressure to engage in teen sex can be overwhelming but I personally believe if the media whether it is music, movies, television, or friends that if a teen is taught to think about the consequences as well as themselves they will in return do the right thing.

Bonin, A. (2012) Media’s Portrayal of Teen Sexuality. Retrieved on January 07, 2013 from http://www.examiner.com/article/media-s-portrayal-of-teen-sexuality

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