Mass Media Influences on Sexuality


I: Summery of the Article


In article Mass media influences on sexuality, Journal of Sex Research, Feb, 2002, by Jane D. Brown, it pointed that media in now-a-days is playing such a big role in lots of people’s daily life. People are exposed to the mass media much more frequently than before. The article gave several media influences for people’s sexual behavior based on a lot of statistics and it claimed that together with more frequent and explicit sex information provided through the media, a lot of audiences, especially young people are imitating some scenes without proper knowledge. It said that media became more important for teens to sharp their sexual beliefs and patterns of behavior, yet parents and schools remain reluctant to discuss sexual topics(Brown, 1). Further more, it listed several sets of studies that go beyond content to address how audiences select, interpret, and apply sexual content, it also suggests that the media may play an important role among young people (Steele, 1999). In conclusion, it stated the media is causing some problems, yet it is still waiting to be justified by more research to correct such problems. The article also gave some suggestions of what might be done to share the burden of provide sex education.


II: Critique of the Article


Article sharply pointed the media problem towards sex education. The given statistics, such as many hours people spend on watching TV, on-line are being incredibly high. However, sexual talk and displays are frequently increasing and explicit in this mediated world (Mass, 1). And a lot of disadvantages came along. The things on TV are usually not the same situation as the off screen. Mass media rarely depict three C’s of responsible sexual behavior: Commitment, Contraceptives, and consideration of consequences. However, mass media does influence more and more of our daily life styles. Especially lack of the younger people about sex education in school and from their parents.


Even through the media are tend to provide wrong, or unrealistic image of sex appearance to all the audiences, there is nothing really can provide such big influence for people than media. Based on the sex education class information, a lot of the common senses are being considered as myths, while majority of the people believes those knowledge according to the media influence. Such should really make us alert to the fact that the misleading facts in the media world.


Health risk is one of the biggest misleading results in the media image and the real world practice. Only about 1 in 10 of the programs on the television include sexual content, and mentions the possible consequences or the need to use contraceptives or protection against STDs(Kunkel et al., 2001). Since STD protection skills are rarely showing upon the media, it has been a huge ignorance among lots young people. It is fairly clear that there are a lot more to learn than whatever appears in media. Even when the STD protections are not used properly can cause the transmit ion, a lot people are really just put themselves in the danger zone of getting STDs.


It is also a big issue when pregnancy coming along. Media seldom talks about the big consequence of the sudden emotion without commitment—pregnancy. All the issues come along like abortion, teenage pregnancy, and other social influence.


In detail, it suggested that the media do have an impact in at least three ways: (a) by keeping sexual behavior on public and agendas, (b) by reinforcing a relatively consistent set of sexual and relationship norms, and (c) by rarely including sexually responsible models (mass media influences on sexuality, 3). It also pointed that the missing parts of the media sexual presentation are most likely to create the image to audience that sex is under most situation only by attraction, no consequence, no planning, and more a matter of lust than love.


Under the formal study of sex education, it is being clear that even media has more influences on sex than any other methods, it would not produce enough knowledge for audience. The reason behind is that the media has its own purpose of existing, which is serve people’s most interests and advertise the items they want to sell. In Movie, “still kill us softly”,