A three-wave panel study (2010–2011) was conducted among 515 adolescents in Belgium (Flanders) (mean age = 14.07) to examine the role of perceived male and female peer norms in the reciprocal relationship between music television exposure and sexual behavior. Structural equation models revealed several unexpected findings. First, the previously reported reciprocal relationships between sexual behavior and sexual media use appears to be dependent on the gender of the adolescent. It was found that music television exposure directly affected sexual behavior in boys, while, the reverse effect, the direct influence of sexual behavior on music television exposure, was found among girls. Second, results showed an indirect impact of sexual behavior on boys’ and girls’ music television exposure through perceptions of male peers’ sexual behavior. More specifically, sexually active boys and girls were demonstrated to believe that many of their male and female peers were also sexually active; however, among boys, the perceptions of the sexual activities of same-gender peers resulted in increased music television exposure, whereas among girls, the perceptions of the sexual activities of male peers resulted in decreased music television exposure. The discussion focuses on the explanation and understanding of these (unexpected) findings in the context of gender differences in sexual socialization.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 24, 2015
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