Abstract Although adolescent sexual behavior has become a focal point for debate among family members, educators, and health providers, the percent of young people who have their first intercourse experience in adolescence has not increased dramatically in the past decade.1 The mass media has reflected the increased awareness of adolescent sexual behavior. One important issue that has arisen is whether certain of the attitudes and behaviors surrounding teenage sexuality are started by the media or if the media merely reflects the beliefs and attitudes already held in a community. By assessing the effect of the media on changing belief systems as well as on education of populations in such sexually related areas as venereal disease control, one could analyze the potential impact of publicity on adolescent sexual behavior. The general conclusion of investigators in the field of mass communication is that the messages in the media merely reinforce attitudes that References 1. Zelnick M, Kantner JF: Sexual and contraceptive experience of young, unmarried women in the United States, 1976 and 1971 . Fam Plann Perspect 9:55-71, 1977.Crossref 2. Klapper JT: The Effects of Mass Communication . New York, The Free Press, 1960. 3. Ubell E: The responsibility of the mass media in the control of sexually transmitted diseases: A hammer without a nail . Bull NY Acad Med 52:1019-1036, 1976. 4. Parcel GS, Luttman D: The effects of a sex education course on young adolescents' sexual attitudes. Presented at the annual meeting of the Ambulatory Pediatric Association, Atlanta, 1979. 5. Spanier GB: Sex education and premarital sexual behavior among American college students . Adolescence 13:659-674, 1978. 6. Cohen CI, Cohen EJ: Health education: Panacea, pernicious or pointless? N Engl J Med 299:718-720, 1978.Crossref 7. Ubell E: Preventive medicine and federal health policy . Coll Prevent Med Newsletter 17:1-7, 1976. 8. Singer JL, Singer DG: Television for children: Effects on learning . Science 203:400, 1979. 9. Committee on Adolescence: Selected References on Low Cost Sex Education Publications for Teenage Youths . Evanston, Ill, American Academy of Pediatrics, 1974. 10. Ellison SE, King A, Peel J, et al: Sexual pressures on children . Br Med J 2:353, 1978.Crossref 11. Feinbloom RI: TV update . Pediatrics 62:428-431, 1978. 12. Wilson WC: Adolescent moral development and sexual decision , in Sex and Youth: A Symposium . Chicago, American Library Association, 1978.
American Journal of Diseases of Children – American Medical Association
Published: Feb 1, 1980