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Essay/Term paper: Sex education messages in the media

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Sex

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Sex Education Messages In The Media

The media should not be blamed for the sexuality of american
youth.
First concern in sexual activity is too much media. Television is
something that kids watch all the time. Television shows that show sexual
activity and children pick up on those events quickly. Teenagers dream about
marrying someone who is good looking and has money and then starting a
family with them. A lot of teens watch soap operas and romantic shows.
Teens see kids, their age, having sex and getting pregnant and they think they
can do it, too. Parents should watch what types of TV shows and movies that
their children are watching. TV commercials are explicit when it comes to
showing sex. Teens can pick up ideas about sex from commercials. Such as,
the Trojan Man and the Durex commercials shown frequently on MTV and
other stations. The media could be more discrete about that sort of material
on the airwaves. In light of these statistics, it would appear that the
nonjudgemental/safe-sex approach can add up to a dangerous combination.
Dr. Theresa Crenshaw, a past president of the American Association of Sex
Educators, Counselors and Therapists, in testimony before a House
subcommittee in February 1987, said, "To say that the use of condoms is
"safe sex" is in fact playing Russian roulette. A lot of people will die in this
dangerous game." Yet despite warnings like this, schoolteachers routinely
present homosexuality to their students as just another option about which
they must decide for themselves (Kilpatrick 598). On the other hand, with
the popular television show, Ellen, the main character and the actress who
played her, Ellen Degenerous, was an open lesbian. This views homosexuals
as nice, fun loving people and not the hated figures that some community
activists portray them as. In turn, the media can be a blessing to the gay
community because they show the lighter side of their sexual preference.
Then again, some parents view this as a wrong statement and refuse to let
their children watch this display. Another show is Will and Grace, Will is a
gay man living with his friend Grace. This show was aired after the Ellen
show was cancelled because of it"s bad ratings after she came out into the
limelight with her "secret".
Second concern in the media. All sorts of teen"s and women"s
magazines that are in stores today are filled with sex and what types of
protection to use. Parents should watch what their kids are reading. In
magazines there are a lot of pictures that children and teenagers don"t need to
see.
Next concern in the media. On the radio they talk about sex and many
different ways to have sex. Teens and children listen to the radio and they
shouldn"t be listening to some of the topics discussed on those radio shows.
Children pick up on things quickly and are easily influenced by things going
on around them. Planned Parenthood"s Alan Guttnacher Institute, published
the results of two large studies, both of which failed to show any reduction in
sexual activity for teenagers who had taken sex education courses (Kilpatrick
591).  

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