Monday, February 9, 2009

Let's Talk About Sex

Last week's talk about Jessica Simpson got us talking about sex a little bit so let's stay with the topic. Late last year, CNN published a piece on a RAND study linking teen pregnancy to watching sex on television. First, read the piece here. After reading i want you to address a few questions.
1. Do you think the results are correct? Does watching more sex on tv lead to teen pregnancy?
2. What other factors are also leading to teen pregnancy? In the piece one person says that too many things other than parenting are always blamed for teen pregnancy. Do you agree? Could good parenting counter the effects of watching too much sex on TV.
3. Could there be a third variable going on here? Teen pregnancy is on the rise. Sex on TV is on the rise. The number of hours of TV watched is on the rise? What's going on?
4. The term Media Literacy is used. This means teaching people how to critically interpret and understand the media with which they engage. (Basically you're taking a class in media literacy right now). Is there a place for this in the classroom? And how can we teach media literacy in the classroom when education budgets are being slashed and we are barely getting basic skills like reading and writing taught in the classroom?

27 comments:

tvan09 said...

I think that watching more sexaully explicit situations on television leads to more curiosity in sex, but I do not think it is the main cause of increase in teen pregnancies. Sure the results of the study are impressive, leading one to think that they may be valid. However, many other factors influence a teen's perception of sex and teen pregnancies.

I think the best thing a parent can do is to teach the child morals and responsibility. Normally, the child will follow a parent's lead when it comes to morality and beliefs. But, the problem with this is that many parents do not ever confront their child with any moral issues. They may find that the subject is too difficult for them to talk about to a child.

However, it not enough for the parent to teach the child and led by example. The parent must monitor the child's television viewing. It is so simple just to tell a child that this kind of content is not acceptable viewing.

I do think that there is a place for media literacy in our educational programs, just as there is a place for sex education. Teaching media literacy can be a simple as equipping the child with the critical thinking skills in order for them to make informed decisions of their own. All the responsibility for the child does not fall on the parents. Educators and educational programs have a tremendous influence on the social intellect of a child. Many times the school environment is the only social environment that some children are exposed to. So, no, it is not fair to blame only the increase of sexual content on television for the rise in teen pregnancies.

At some point, we as a society have to take personal responsibility for our actions. We have to accept the consequences of our actions. Placing the blame for our mistakes on the government or on any media is just a cop out.

tvan09 said...

Sorry again, tvan09 is actually Terry VanLandingham.

brob09 said...

I do believe that teens watching sexually explicit shows on television leads to more sexual activity. I also believe that teens do not take proper precautions when engaging in sexual activity. Thus teens watching shows showing sexually scenes does lead to more teen pregnancies.

I believe that no matter how parents raise their teens, there is still that risk of pregnancy. The most strick and moral parents can find their teens having sex just as the parents that don't spend time teaching their children the right and wrong of sex. I believe no matter how you raise your children there is always that chance that it could happen to them. I believe that so many teens think that this can't happen to them. Parents just need to teach and guide their children and deal with the consequences.

I do believe there is need for Media Literacy in our schools. Now is the time for critical thinking to start taking place.
But I believe it is also time for parents to step up and assume more responsibility rather than blame teachers, media, government or who ever for what happens or does not happen in their children's lives.

Beth Robinson

Stacey Perkins said...

I think that teenagers watching a lot of sex scenes on television could quite possibly lead to teenagers being more sexually active. Television portrays casual sex as normal and wonderful. It rarely depicts the consequences, such as STDs, unplanned pregnancies, or the emotional turmoil. I think that anyone that is past puberty that is over exposed to sex scenes is affected. That’s partly what’s wrong with society. I think woman can get caught up in the supposed romance, while men get caught up in the act itself. Isn’t the fact the viewing sexual acts stimulates sexual activity the basis for the pornography industry.

Let’s face it that we want to blame our parents for everything that goes wrong in our lives. I think parents are blamed enough. I think most of the time the responsibility really falls on each person. Good parenting can certainly help curve teen pregnancy, but even some of the best parents can end up with a pregnant teenager. I think the main cause of teen pregnancy is plain stupidity. If a teenager decides not to abstain from sex, they should at least have enough sense to use protection.

As a society, I think we are all watching too much television. We need to stop being such couch potatoes and be more active with other activities. If we could get our teenagers more involved in sports, volunteering, etc. and away from the television, this would certainly help.

There is a place for media literacy in the classroom. Maybe not as a separate course on the highschool level, but perhaps integrated with other courses or as a unit of a communications class. That would probably be the best we could hope for considering the strain our schools are already under. But our youth certainly need to be taught how to analyze the media and to think outside the box.

Richard V. Shields III said...

1. Do you think the results are correct? Does watching more sex on tv lead to teen pregnancy? I think there is little doubt that TV content has effects on viewers. If the content is sexual, the effect is likely to be sexual, therefore it probably is a contributor to teen pregnancy.
2. Other factors can be blamed as well as TV. Parental involvement will be a large factor in a child's views and actions on sex as well as other issues. Good parenting will surely help, but to use the term 'counter'(which I interpret as 'to negate') is probably unrealistic. That would infer that if pregnancy occurs, it could not have been good parenting and bad TV became the overwhelming factor.
3. There is probably more than just one more variable here. We've identified TV and parents. We haven't talked about individual responsibility or school or peers or other sources that influence decision making. But I suggest that the biggest failing is trying to affix blame instead of trying to remove the problem. Is teaching abstinence a cure-all? Obviously not. Does practicing abstinence prevent pregnancy? Every time! So why is it not practiced. Simply because people don't want to...for differing reasons. The greatest underlying reason is because they want to have sex and there is always an excuse to they can use to justify their action.
4. Is there a place for media literacy in the classroom? There is a place for any type of literacy in the classroom, but just as some people are tired of hearing TV or other source blamed for the ills of society, I tend to get tired of hearing monetary shortfalls blamed for all of the ills of education. The fact is that educational budgets that I'm familiar with tend to be top-heavy with administration and other functions instead of teaching and curriculum. Parents tend to be apathetic in what they require of the educational system and particularly what they require of their child-student. When society in general places greater value on what is taught and how it is being taught, there will be less need to look for places and people to blame for shortfalls.

D Douglas said...

1. I agree that the sexual content viewed on television may help to contribute to higher pregnancy rates in teens, but not the sole contributing factor. Being exposed to so much sexuality on televison could lead some to becoming sexually active, and potentially pregnant. If you are exposed to something constantly, it reasons that you stand a large chance of trying whatever you are being exposed to.

2. Friends of teenagers who have already engaged in sexual activity. Music has many suggestive lyrics that could potentially lead teenagers to engage in sex. Magazines with suggestive pictures, and articles describing all sorts of sexual topics. Books have some seriously descriptive sexual content thatcan easily be read by teenagers. I agree 100% with that statement, learning must start at home. Teenagers live in the real world and should be taught about real world issues, not shielded from the truth. A large portion of parents do not feel comfortable talking to their teens about sex, and put the conversations off and usually never have them. These parents are allowing people in the streets to teach their teens about sex, and those teachers are usually teenagers themselves.

3. Sex is a large part of our society, and you can see it in many different avenues. Sex is used to sell products. It is used to describe attractive people. Sex is even used to certain adult beverages. Sex is all around us, and if teens are not taught about it, they can easily get things confused.

4. I would use the current television programs as the material for students to view, and then we would discuss those shows and there content. People usually view shows for entertainment purposes only, but a lot ofshows provide real serious messages. It would be interesting to have a group of students view a television show, and then write a paper describing what story was about. I could only imagine how varied the papers would be.

Dylan Douglas

Casey said...

1. I do agree that teens watching more sex on tv leads to more teen preganancy, however I don't think that is the only contributing factor whatsoever. Many programs on television today are very explicit and can influence hormonal teenagers very easily. Ultimately, it is up to the parents to control what their children watch and make sure they make them understand the consequences of sex at such an early age.
2. There are other factors that also lead to teen pregancy, but I do think that parenting is the most important factor. Education, or the lack of, is a big contributing factor. Until a teenager actually learns about sex from a scientific educational perspective, it doesn't register with them all the possible results from having sex.
3. A third variable could be the influence music has on teens. There are many more ways to have access to any kind of music with the use of a computer, even if they are underage. All they have to do is simply download whatever they want to hear. There are tons of songs that sound "cool" but the content is horrible for teens to listen to. When they hear these songs over and over it begins to sound normal and eventually seems normal and cool.
4. I definately think Media Literacy should be taught in classrooms. I didn't realize how big of an effect media has on us until I started studying cocmmunication but it has truly been eye opening and made me not be so influenced by what I see in the media. We can teach media literacy in the classroom by doing things such as including it in with computer classes, having special seminars, or replacing unnecessary elective classes with media literacy classes.

Ellen said...

1. I really don’t think we can say that watching more sex on TV leads to pregnancy. It could also do just the opposite, giving parents an opportunity to talk to their kids about safe sex or making kids more comfortable with asking their parents for information on the topic. I really do not think we can blame this one on TV.
2. There are a lot of factors that lead to teen pregnancy. First and foremost kids don’t think that bad things will happen to them. They are kids. I also think birth control and the morning after pill should be more easily available to teenagers. I think free condoms should be given out in schools. I think that teens should be able to go into clinics without being judged and without their parents knowing. If kids want to have sex they will. Communities need to give them ways to protect themselves more easily.
I think parenting could play into this. If you do not grow up in an open and loving home there is a good chance you will look for that love somewhere else. I think this is where teens, especially teen girls, make bad choices. Parents should be opened to talking to their children about sex even though they may not believe their children should be having sex.
3. I really don’t think that TV has anything to do with it. I think that kids are just growing up faster these days. My 9 year old brother has a cell phone! I mean come on, what is that? Kids have more communication with one another now. Kids can call, text, instant message, etc. etc. They also have more information faster. Things are just moving a little faster now then they use to.
4. I don’t think there is a place for media literacy in the class room. I think it is a parent’s responsibility to teach these things to their children. And honestly, it is the kid’s responsibility to have a little common since. Everyone wants to blame the media and parents, but what about this kids? I don’t think that kids just listen to everything coming at them and then have no choice but to make bad decisions. They can make good decisions. It is not the schools responsibility or the medias responsibility.

Ellen Bunch

Leb23 said...

I think that watching sex on television is one of the reasons leading to teen pregnancy. The media markets sex. They make it look cool and that everyone is doing it. On the other hand, I think that other factors encourage sex like family and friends.
I think that good parenting can counter the effects of television. If you instill good morals in your children, and you show them that you love them, they won't go looking for sex in other places. Also, I believe that parents that take their children to church have more of a sense of right and wrong and are more likely not to have sex.
The media is showing its audience what it wants to see. Sex sells. Therefore, as television viewing increases, sexual content is going to increase because that is what the audience wants to see. I believe that teens having sex is related to this rising trend. Pregnancy is just a side effect of the trend.
Yes, I believe that there should be a place in the classroom for this if you want to keep teen pregnancy down. When I started taking communication classes, it is amazing how much I learned about the media being deceptive. They show people what they want to see and market to its audiences. Therefore, if people knew more about the media and what its purpose and target is then I believe that teen pregnancy might decrease because less people would be having sex.
Leanna Baldner

Dominique said...

The results have some truth to an extent. It's true that each television show, whether daytime or primetime, are saturated with sex. Teens have their own minds and they can make their own decisions, but watching a television show starring a teen's favorite celebrity who is having an intimate moment could possible sway him or her to have sex. Each actor portray his role to convince viewers that sex is magical, passionate, and mind-blowing. When teens receive this message, they may become curious to explore this kind of passion that has been portrayed.

There are many factors that lead to teen pregnancy: absence of parents, abuse, dysfunctional families, peer pressure, or struggling to fit in. As mentioned before, teens have their own minds, and there are many different reasons why each of them have unprotected sex.

It disgusts me how each episode is tailored around sex (especially the daytime shows). I see sex on each show, and the characters are always sleeping with different people. Great examples are definitely not being set for teens and the producers do not take into consideration that parents cannot monitor their child's every move. How can they tell parents to monitor what their teen watches? The show, "Gossip Girl" targets a teen audience, but the episodes are saturated in sex. It doesn't matter that the actors are over 18, they are still portraying teens. This show could be a big influence on a young teen's sexual decisions.

I think Media Literacy can easily be added as an additional lesson in classes such as English, Journalism, and Drama, this way budgets won't be affected. Also, in some schools, students watch a teen news show called "Channel One" in the beginning of class in the morning. After each show, the teacher can briefly discuss different facets of Media Literacy and give the students handouts.

larrythomas16 said...

I agree with the report to a point. I think the MTV rave has put a lot of emphasis on the body image and sexuality. When i was a kid and i'm telling you this not to be judged but to give you a statistic. All we wanted to do was be around girls, no for fun but to get in there pants. I had two parents that all they did was get in my business. So i had to hide some some stuff like when i lost my virginity( 14). When i was 17 teen i got my girlfriend pregnant, it was her first time and my second. TV had nothing to do with this. It was the people I hung around with, all we talked about was getting laid and who would be the first. It was me. We got an abortion in New Hampshire and I regret it everyday of my life. I believe society plays a role and also the people you associate with has a huge factor. Kids are easily swayed into doing things. TV makes it ok to have sex but they don't put out the consequences of what would happen if you dont protect yourself. We used to get profilactics in health class but parents and religoius groups neg that. I don't care if you get awards for mom and dad of the year. It isn't going to matter when your daughter or son leave the house. There are to many other variables against them. I will say one thing that i've noticed since my son is high school. The girls are a little moreforward these days. Before you'd have to court the girl, now the girls go after what they want. The things i hear from our players about how girls will service a guy and kick him to the curb for another just left me breathless. The girls they were talking about there parents were upstanding and very good people. As well as great parents. That's what made it so hard to believe. I really believe that the standard has changed about pregnancy. Girls in Massachusetts proved that, that it was a joke if you got pregnant and they truly didn't care about the consequences of teen moms. I think it could be what they see in society. Teen pregnancy could mean wellfare and attention from friends. The kids are born to teens but probably 75% of the time there parents end up taking care of the child. It saddens mean to know that kids like these are satrting in the world one leg down. It's crappy.Media can play a huge roll it just needs someone to take an interest in teen pregnancy, with a lot of money to back it. One commercial in particular comes to mind is the Hardees burger with a girl that truly looked like a teen and was pregnant munching on a huge burger. Are you kidding me. This is portraying a wrong image. I know in Alabama kids still take health education. This is a good starting point and maybe the superintendants should be a little more aggresive with there message about teen pregnancy. I was a statistic, not by choice but by ignorance. Education is the main track to drive home to parents first then kids. Parents are the key, if you can get through to them the the others will follow.Larry Thomas

Rebecca Price said...

For question 1, I do believe that young teens watching sex on TV can help in their decision to have sex and be curios about it. There is not much you can't learn about on TV anymore, no matter how it is portrayed, the right way or the wrong way.

For question 2, I do not believe that good parenting will always counter the effects of watching too much sex on TV. This is because parents can not be with their children all the time, so they can not talk to their kids about everything they do. Talking with your children will hopefully help them understand how to make the right decisions, and hopefully deter them from making the wrong decisions when they are not there, but this will not always be the case.

For question 3, what is going on? The society is very lazy overall and it is easier to sit on the couch and watch TV than it is to pick up a book and read it for example.

For question 4, I do believe that there is a place for Media Literacy in the classroom because young teens need to understand what they are engaging in while watching TV. It is just like being educated on anything else and I believe it is needed.

tiffany said...

I do think that more pregnancies and sexual experiences in teens are the response of sexual content on television. I do feel the study did open many parents eyes. I believe sex on television makes it seem fun and safe; but it does not. They do not go through the motions of pregnancy or stds.
I do think the parents should also be responsible in monitoring their child's television viewing; although parents can not be around 24/7 I do think the best thing is protective monitors for screening programs.
I am not a perfect parent but I try and keep an eye on the programs my kids are viewing. The tough thing is we as parents have to teach our kids morals. We can not be watching their every move for the rest of their lives so we just have to trust their decisions and hope we did our best.
I believe television is being focused on to much during our time. I mean 30 years ago television was not being viewed like it is today. I mean kids were out playing more than watching or playing video games. If anything the parent should make rules of having certain hours for television viewing. This could possibly cut down on the explicit viewing.

tiffany r

JVJ1 said...

Yes. We are predisposed to think in terms of what we experience so if we experience violence throughout our lives we are predisposed towards violence. I beleive that we are influenced by our environment. You can tell the kids that watch such networks as MTV. Simply by their style. I amonly 30 so I remember when MTV first came out and it changed how viewed the world.

I thnk the focus of sex in school is also leading ot teen pregnancy and the parents inability to caution children on the dangers of sex. I do believe that good parenting could negate sex on tv. Sex on TV if properly monitored could only be a small portioun of the training of a child.

I think that there are a number of reasons teen pregnancy is on the rise: 1. Sex is readily available in our media and used as a marketing tool 2. Parents reaching for that next status level and not spending time with their children. 3. Pier Pressure to fit in and shows like Gossip Girl, 90210, and dirty sexy money are all to blame for this occurance.

I think that it should be taught int he classroom. The abilityt o be able to distill what you are reading or hearing or watching is vitally important to determine your courses of action as a human being. Media Lieteracy is important and should be taught to every child in america.

madjdinfl said...

1. Do you think the results are correct? Does watching more sex on TV lead to teen pregnancy?

NO – I think this is completely false. Teen pregnancy has to do with knowledge not exposure. Sex is everywhere that much is true, but the teen’s knowledge on sex, pregnancy, and healthy relationships is the key to this equation. I’m sorry but I grew up in a family with both parents, a military brat, I was not allowed to even watch the Simpson’s because my mom thought it was bad TV and I spent most of my time out side. My parents we not totally involved in my life but they were there. My teen years lead to sports, working part time and having fun. TV was not very present in my life. But guess what even with all that I still had sex by the age of 16. I’m 28 now and still not pregnant. So knowledge of safe sex and making sure your partner has that same knowledge is the key. The attitude of it’s not going to happen to me needs to be broken as well. Turning to the healthy relationship part. I see a lot of teens get pregnant in hopes of this perfect family that they want at such a young age. It has to do with teen emotions and this again is where knowledge of a healthy relationship is required and knowledge that losing your boyfriend is not the end of the world and getting pregnant to keep him isn’t the answer.

2. Could good Parenting counter the effect of watching to much sex on TV.

YES- I spoke about this earlier – Knowledge is the key and that comes from parents, teachers, friends and even counselors.

3. Could there be a third variable to explain the rise of teen pregnancy and the coincidence of the rise of sex on TV.

You know I’m not sure I still think its all about the basics. There could be a lack of parenting meaning giving kids the knowledge expecting them to just know and then the kids are watching this TV and wanting to experience themselves. I also think that the rise of ecstasy doesn’t help. That is a very touchy feely sexual drug that is very popular with teens.

4. Media Literacy- This is interesting and I am not sure how this could be integrated. I don’t think budgets have anything to do with it because on several occasions I remember my teacher putting on movies to keep us busy and not teaching a thing. Taking this time would be easy. The question is can you get parent approval for this. When you talk about media literacy this is almost like sex ed and I think a signature forms from the parents would be required. Maybe sex in the media should be included in sex ed. That would be a perfect spot to seg-way into what kids see on TV and compare that to reality and what is not acceptable in society.

Melissa Doty

NicoleElizabeth said...

I think the results are partially correct. Yes, being exposed to sexual content will deem sex as an okay thing to do in teens eyes, but exposure to sexual content on TV is not the sole factor for teen pregnancy. Other factors that affect teen pregnancy are parents being involved in the teen's life and to what extent the parent is involved, the people teens become friends with, the people they associate with, personality, beliefs, and morals are all other factors that play a role in teen pregnancy. I think another variable that is causing teen pregancy to rise is the fact that exposure to sexual content is on the rise and sex is becoming accepted as a norm in our culture more and more. This is not sending a very good message to the younger generations out there. What happened to old-fashioned traditions and beliefs? What happened to sex being a sacred act? What happened to waiting until marriage? This starts to get into religion and religious beliefs but I think that this is a major factor. I think that teens are exposed more to sexual content instead of religion and if this was the opposite that teen pregancy would not be on the rise and that it would be such a norm in our culture, which is a huge problem. Finally, talking about madia literacy, there should be a place in the classroom for teaching people about media literacy. I say this because if parents are not going to sit down with their teens and explain the content they see on TV, then somebody needs to teach them. Madia Literacy can be taught in the classroom through sex education. I think the way in which teens are exposed to sex and sexual content plays a huge role. When they see it on TV, it is always shown without consequence, but if teens are shown what the real consequences of sex is then I think teens would think twice about it, if they knew the reality of the decision.
-Nicole Elizabeth

Caroline said...

I think this is crazy. I have an eleven year old daughter that I recently approached her about sex. I asked her what boyfriends and girlfriends do when they go out and she responded with go to a movie and eat popcorn and stuff. so I asked her what parents do and she thought they go to funerals and do things for other couples. she had no idea about sex. We do not watch television 24/7. we spend a great deal of time outdoors doing things together as a family. when a family stays busy doing things together as a family, there leaves little idol time to explore things like sex on television. I do think this is the sole responsibility of the parents. I think as parents we have to protect and educate our children, not put them in front of a television screen to watch the programing these perverts have created to corrupt the minds of the viewers. These programs shouldn't even be on the air and if they are intended for adult viewers then they can watch pay-per-view or rent pron. These shows may contribute to teen pregnancy, but this still goes back to parenting skills for allowing there children to watch this mess. I don't remember the last time we sat in front of the television for more than about thirty minutes. Get off the couch people!

Caroline said...

I forgot to leave my name at the end of my comment!
Carolyn Stevens

mic g said...

I think that television plays some role in the influences of todays teen towards sex at a early age. Just look at the shows on TV today. All the reality shows, the daytime soaps, the night time shows, the movies, ect.. Not all the blame has to go to TV tho.
Parents must get more involved in what thier children can and cant watch. And educate them at home on the negative affects annd results of sex at an early age.
Also the morals of not only the home but this country have changed very much over the years. Moral values have been put to the side in many cases.
Schools should also get more involved in this. I think the "scare" factor is gone from the youth today about many of the issues that involve sex. Back when I was in Jr High and High School our teachers used this very much in telling and showing us what can result from sex at a young age. From early pregnancy to sexually transmitted dieases.
So yes TV does play a role in this but not the solution could be with the parents, church and schools to get this problem solved better..

Michael greene

amandakthrash said...

There is a natural curiosity for humans to want to check out things that they see but don't fully understand. This coupled with the biological drive to reproduce helps to lead to higher rates of teen pregnancy. Our soicety is exposed to sex on televesion, movies, radio, and the Internet constantly. With this much exposure, there is little reason for the teen birth rate not to go up.

This is where the parents come into play. I am not saying that parents do not do a good enough job of censoring the media that their kids are exposed too. The parents need to do a better job of educating their kids about sex in order to reduce some of the mystery and provide better understanding. If their is better understanding, then maybe their will be less curiosity. At the same time, better education about the consequences of unsafe actions will help deter the teen pregnancy rate.

The study did make valid arguments. True, there is more sex in the media. True, teens are having more babies. But, there is still not proof that these are correlated and not just coincidential.

Amanda McCurley Thrash

rcp20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcp20 said...

1. Yes. So much of what we see that contributes to pop culture also determines the standards and norms desired or respected by the observers.
2. Yes. Good parenting may inhibit the frequency at which adolescents view such behavior on tv. Also, it may instill morals that are strong enough to overpower standards set fourth by pop culture.
3. If you consider good parenting in light of those variables, it could be possible to assume that good parenting is on the decline.
4. Absolutely. You can teach students how to critically evaluate the world around them. Even though schools are cutting budgets the media is increasing its exposure of ideas and messages particularly to young adults. Due to this, there is no limit in the supply of outside images, advertisements, shows, and music, that students would welcome in their classroom environments. If nothing else, students can evaluate the world outside schools, but bring it into classrooms through discussions, writings, critical literacy projects.

Robert Purvis

Kenny Hardin said...

I do believe that the rise of sex on television has an affect on a higher sex rate in teenagers resulting in higher teen pregnancies. Most of these show only show the glamorous side of getting pregnant and hardly ever take the time to show proper use of protection.
I also believe that with the rise in sex on television that parents are also at fault here. There are many ways to regulate your children from watching these shows. And if they feel it is not possible to regulate this because of other friends and excuses like that one then they should talk with their children at an early age to warn them of the possibilities of having sex.
Media literacy should most certainly be incorporated into the classroom at an early age. A child needs to be able to translate what he or she is watching, just in case they are watching something they are not supposed to be.
Kenny Hardin

rf213 said...

1. Yes, I do think that watching sex on TV might be one of the factors that lead to teen pregnancy.

2. I think that good parenting could counter the effects of TV, not completely though. Parenting is important but it is definitely not the only factor here. Better parenting is also not the only solution for the problem with teen pregnancy. One of the factors can be that some teens are not realizing how serious situation they can get into, so they undergo the risk easier. Also excessive drinking can lead to this kind of risky behavior.

3. Young people just need to make smarter choices and base their behavior and decisions on real life and real experiences and not on what they see on TV. Engaging more in activities other than watching TV would help them to see and experience real situations in real life and they would learn from those much more than from TV shows.

4. I think there is a place for media literacy in the classroom. It would for sure help young people to understand the media better and interpret all the messages they are getting through them. We all need to know how to critically think about what we hear and see so we, for example, don't confuse (especially in young age) reality with what we see on TV.

Radka

Nicole Thigpen said...

I do believe that watching more sex on tv can lead to teen pregnancy. Is it the only factor? Absolutely not! I think it is a mixture of many things including: friends, television, supervision, and lack of education. As far as tv goes I think that the sex on tv can help form their attitudes about sex. They may not think of the consequences of STD's or pregnancy because on tv you don't see any of this explained as much. I feel that tv and movies can give false impressions of how love and life should be. They often give this fairy tale approach to love and how love should be. When you get in a relationship you expect this perfect relationship and don't realize that there is going to be tough times! I also think that friends help them form their opinion on sex. If your friend is sexually involved then you may not think as badly about it and let your guard down as well. We all know that teens talk with one another about these things. I also think that lack of supervision or not being involved in your childs life can also increase the chances of teen pregnancy. Although you can't watch your childs every move you can set standards and educate your children on the consequences of sex. I remember my mom talking to me about drugs and telling me horror stories and after that there was no way I was going to chance my life on a high! Soo sometimes we need the hardcore truth! As far as sex went I was more scared of the STD's than anything and that helped keep me in line.

I feel there is a place for teaching media literacy in schools and that it is needed. I even have trouble sometimes trying to figure out what is exaggerated in the news. I always thought that crimes were getting worse and having higher rates until my Criminolgy class last semester that showed through studies that there was not a major increase in crime. The media amplifies stories and no longer shows us the important issues but it shows us the issues with a greater entertainment value! They are focusing on their ratings!

Juliet said...

Yes, I think watching television can lead to teenagers having sex. Some television shows present having sex without the consequences of getting a sexually transmitted disease or becoming pregnant. Hormones are becoming a factor at this time for teenagers and watching sexually explicit program only adds confusion. These children are susceptible to the images they in the media.

Parents should not be let off the hook because television shows have sexually explicit scene in them. Having sex can change anyone's life. How can we expect teenagers to really understand sex if parents are not talking about it with their children? The media presents the fantasy to children and the children buy into it.

TV literacy is one of those things that have to be discussed because of the potency of the media. More than anything the media provides information. What happens with that information once it is relayed to the public is a matter for the public to address. More specifically, it is the parent’s responsibility to bring up a child in the manner they see fit.

Juliet Richard

Stanley said...

I think television has a major influence on teen pregnancy. It’s not the only factor, but it does play a huge part. When I was growing up, I watched TGIF on ABC, Wonder Years, Head of the Class, Growing Pains, and Brady Bunch re-runs. Full House and Family Matters definitely stayed away from teen pregnancy and sexually related issues. Kids are influenced very easily, and if they’re put in an environment surrounded by “bad” stuff, I think the likelihood of participation will increase.
Parents, friends, and social peer groups are very important for teenagers. Most of the time, happy kids who are raised in a good home turn out ok. That’s my opinion. Sometimes, however, you’ll see good kids go nuts with drugs, teen pregnancy, and the like. Their parents often put the blame on themselves and ask “what did I do wrong?” The parents may have not done anything wrong. Our society is moving at such a fast pace these days, and the pressure on our youth is also increasing. I think this also influences how the teenagers are acting these days.
As I mentioned in the last question, things are definitely different for children these days. Not only are they smarter, but I think their expectations are much higher now. The pressure to excel in school, get into good colleges, can be quite overwhelming for teenagers. Michael Phelps recent media attention is a perfect example of a good kid just wanting to have some fun. This pressure to excel is not an excuse to go smoke pot or become pregnant. Another variable is that sexually related material is all over the place these days. Back in the day, a playboy magazine was the norm. Today, sex is on TV, the internet, and the movies. Kids are being exposed to it more frequently.
Media Literacy has a place in the classroom. Similar to sex ed, and DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), we can teach children how to interpret what is good and what is bad. The more we teach kids about the "bad" stuff and ensure they understand the consequences, the better off they will be.