Sexuality is an area of life that brings on risk, with the potential for positive or negative outcomes, success or failure. This is no more or less true for adolescents. The important difference is that teens do not yet have well-developed risk assessment skills. As in any area of life, if we want teens to be psychologically healthy, we want to promote their learning. This also holds especially true for their sexuality. In our culture, sex is still viewed as a taboo subject. I am interested in teen sexuality and how I might raise a sexually healthy teen, because I have a teenage son.
One parental concern might be the influence of TV and music TV, on teens. Researchers have been investigating this idea. In, "What teens have to say about sex on TV and in music videos- by Scott Simon of Saint Paul Pioneer Press (06/02), he reports what Joseph Shapiro and a group of teens had to say. The Kaiser Family Foundation put groups of 12 -15 year old teens in a room to listen to what they had to say about the sexually explicit TV and music videos on TV today. Mr. Shapiro and Dr. Jane Brown observe these teens. .
Dr. Jane Brown, of University of North Carolina, is studying how sex in the media affects teens. She argues that it is very apparent that the teens are developing strong senses of morality. Teens want to be good; they strongly desire to act appropriately. She theorizes that teen sexual attitudes are greatly influenced by the amount of TV they watch.
After the teens viewed a popular Britney Spears video, the teens shared similar opinions. They viewed the skimpily dressed singer, as she went from one male singer to another, grinding her way across the stage. They used words such as gross, nasty, and disgusting to describe Spears' actions and her clothing. Shapiro and Brown observed that the teens were very judgmental about what they viewed on TV.
Next the teens watched a scene from a sitcom called "Clueless-.