Sample Article Review on Can sex & sexuality in the media for youth become an educational source instead of taboo?

Can sex & sexuality in the media for youth become an educational source instead of taboo?

Introduction

This study aims at exploring the media as an educational source that can be used to inform the youth about sex and sexuality instead of taboos. In the contemporary society, the media platform has taken the youths like a storm. Most of the studies done indicates that the modern youth, spends most of the time in the media. Media applications like Whatsapp and social media applications such as Twitter and Facebook are the modern way of communication. This being the case, the media can take a core role in educating the youths on sex and sexuality. The taboos still remain but are rarely applied in the contemporary society. With the modernization and technological advancement, taboos are becoming a thing of the past. It still remains to be seen, how many people still adhere to believes and taboos. This being the case, the role of taboos and beliefs has been eroded by the current wave and has been replaced by the media, which acts as the informer, advisor, and counselor to the youths. Of importance is that though taboos ought to be followed, the enlightenment of the modern youth requires more than the taboos (Brown & Sarah para). Traditionally, young persons were taught about sex upon reaching a certain age. The contemporary society, because of the media, has been exposed to sex and sexual material at a very early age. This being the case, the debate on sex and sexuality ought to be tackled by the whole society since the media, is affected by the people’s perception and in certain cases may not give the required information. The research fit in the context since it is trying to give an opinion of the regarding how the media can help educators in teaching the youth on sex and sexuality. The research is trying to show the validity of the fact that indeed the media should be used to educate the youths since the contemporary persons are not wary of taboos. The writer/authors’ rationale is well presented, though the topic is too broad and may therefore lead to generalization of some factors relating to sex and sexuality among the youths. This being the case, this paper aims at critiquing the media on its capability to educate the youths about sex and sexuality.

Hetsroni, Amir. “Adolescents’ Perceived Usefulness of Information on Sexuality: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Interpersonal Sources, Professional Sources and the Mass Media.” Atlantic Journal of Communication 15.2 (2007): 134-152.

Overall purpose of the research

A study found in the Atlantic Journal of communication by Hetsroni in 2007, on the adolescents’ perceived usefulness of information on sexuality in Israel (134), showed that the media was very central in the provision of information regarding sexuality. Of those surveyed, having come from different background, irrespective of ethnicity claimed that the media was the most useful source of information. The paper therefore tries to explain the perceived importance of various sources in educating the youth on sexuality.

Measures/methods used in the research

In the analysis, various indicators were used, including interpersonal sources that entail parents and family members. Of the interviewed, the family and older siblings played an important role in socialization, but not in sex matters. The majority of the respondents indicated sharing with their fellow youths on sex matters more than their family members (136). Professional sources that included the school system and the health care professionals were not considered as good and reliable sources for lack of confidence to disclose the information (137). The mass media was found to be saturated with sexual materials that exposed teens to sexual behaviors (137).

Validity of the research

In this, more than 14000 cases were reported from the TVs, as 80% of the TV programs were viewed by the teens (137). Despite this fact, helpful information was not found on TVs. Internet, offered skewed information, and so were the magazines and newspaper (138). In the research, it was found out that the teens from the Arab origin were more likely to adhere to taboos than the media. This was attributed by the fact the Arabs value taboos more than the Jews and the Christians (149)

Agreement with the author’s rationale

I totally agree with the author’s rationale that various sources of information are sought after to provide information on sexuality. Despite the fact that media is the mostly used source, it does not provide adequately, the required information.

McKee, Alan. “The importance of entertainment for sexuality education.” Sex Education 12.5 (2012): 499-509.

Overall purpose of the research? 

The purpose of this study was to highlight the importance of entertainment for sexuality education, since the young people learn about sexuality from various sources including the entertainment media (499).

Measurements used

The author used various measurement including fiends, partners, teachers, TVs, magazines and other websites.

Validity of the research

This study revealed that young people seek the media because it offers the information they want, and in ways that they liked. Like Hetsorin, he indicated the various sources to include friends, partner, school, TVs, media among others (500). She described two types of sexual health including the erotic and the official health information (501). Schools were found to offer official health information, but on a marginal scale (501). Peers were reported to be the most used source of information on sexual health. From his findings, parents, teachers and professional were approached when formal information on sex was required, but friends and the media were used to provide romantic information or relational information.

Justification of the rationale used

The media is favored by the youths since it provides information on safe sex, as well as helping their developing sexuality when experimenting relationships and intimacy (503).

Talukdar, Joy. “The prospects of a virtual sex education: a review.” American Journal of Sexuality Education 8.1-2 (2013): 104-115

Purpose of the study

Talukdar highlights that media is a very powerful tool in shaping and affecting the youths on health and sexual related information (104). In her study, the media content determines its capacity to be viewed, whereby, the programs that portrays the risks of sexual activities led to lower likelihood of intercourse in later years (106).

Measurements used

Applying the theory of media, individual adopt behaviors that are common and those that lead to positive outcomes (107). Hust, brown and Lengle, in Talukdar indicated that though radios, TV and magazines are sought for information on sexuality, rarely was there any mention of the risks of early unprotected sexual behaviors (108). Digital media on the other hand, sometimes gives the required information on sexual education. Research done indicates that sexual programs that targeted the high risk youth category was more effective than the classroom version (109).

Justification of the rationale

 Despite the increased use of the digital media, the information provided in these platforms does not entail sexual education. (111). The author therefore agrees that a combination of the old and we methods should be incorporated to promote healthier sexuality.

Meyer, Michaela DE. “Media, Sexuality and Identity: Thoughts on the Role Text, Audience and Production Play in Cultural Discourse.” Sexuality & Culture17.3 (2013): 379-383.

Purpose of the study

Meyer, in media, sexuality and identity, indicates that since the digital media is more readily available on a daily basis, they subvert the societal hegemonic norms (382). This therefore leads to the notion that media should be controlled if positive results on sexual education is to be achieved.

Discussion

From the observation of various scholars, and since the youths spends almost a third of their day in the social media, it can succeed in educating the young on se and sexuality issues. In the media today, the youths can see the explicit materials on these digital sites. Since the today’s youth rank the media in terms of sex and sexuality more than the professionals and parents, more need to be done to improve on the quality of materials being watched, such that, informative education can be availed. To a great extent, the authors have presented factual information in regard to media function in sex and sexuality. However, the articles have failed to explain the limitations of taboos towards sex and sexual education. The relationship between culture, education, diversity as well as social economic factors are some other approaches that limit media in achieving the intended purpose of educating the youths about sexuality.

Conclusions

Many of the young people turn to the mass media for information on sexuality since the formal schooling and taboos cannot afford the necessary information way that the teens can appreciate. The current social setting does not provide good avenues for the provision of information on sexual matters. In such cases, the educators have used the media in the provision of information on sexuality. The film producers as well as the media people should not be coaxed into doing what they don’t like, but efforts should be put in place to ensure collaboration between all parties so that the material found on the media can benefit the youths. Taboos, are affected by various factors, including modernization, technological advancement, diversification, and therefore should not be fully relied to help the young persons on sexuality.

Works Cited

Brown, Jane D., and Sarah N. Keller. “Forum: Can the mass media be healthy sex educators.” Family planning perspectives 32.5 (2000): 1-4.

Hetsroni, Amir. “Adolescents’ Perceived Usefulness of Information on Sexuality: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Interpersonal Sources, Professional Sources and the Mass Media.” Atlantic Journal of Communication 15.2 (2007): 134-152.

McKee, Alan. “The importance of entertainment for sexuality education.” Sex Education 12.5 (2012): 499-509.

Meyer, Michaela DE. “Media, Sexuality and Identity: Thoughts on the Role Text, Audience and Production Play in Cultural Discourse.” Sexuality & Culture17.3 (2013): 379-383.

Talukdar, Joy. “The prospects of a virtual sex education: a review.” American Journal of Sexuality Education 8.1-2 (2013): 104-115.