A Quantitative content analysis of teenage sexuality on prime-time television : Encouragement without precaution
Bailey, Robert E., M.A.
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A content analysis of seven highly-rated television programs indicates that the four television networks display a high level of sexual activity between unmarried characters, perhaps implying in the minds of some viewers the network's stamp of approval for premarital sexual intercourse. Many of these unmarried characters involved in sexual activity are teenagers engaged in their first-time sexual experience— which may possibly teach and encourage teen viewers to engage in sexual activity. Most sexual activity on the seven programs displayed unsafe sexual intercourse, i.e., intercourse without the discussion of, or evident use of, protection against pregnancy, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), or AIDS. The study also indicates that a majority of sexual incidents on the networks are initiated by females. This may be a factor in recent evidence of a rise in sexually assertive teenage girls. Additionally, the study found 10 sexual fallacies displayed by the networks. These sexual fallacies may confound any sexual education received by teens and may even impede teen sexual development by adding confusion to the already confusing period of adolescence.