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Shaping Sexual Behaviors & Sexual Scripts

Mass Media Effects on Youth Sexual Behavior Assessing the Claim for Causality

Full Article Name: Mass Media Effects on Youth Sexual Behavior Assessing the Claim for Causality

Open Access: No

Abstract

Studies of the impact of the mainstream mass media on young people’s sexual behavior have been slow to accumulate despite longstanding evidence of substantial sexual content in the mass media. The sexual media effects landscape has changed substantially in recent years, however, as researchers from numerous disciplines have answered the call to address this important area of sexual socialization scholarship. The purpose of this chapter is to review the subset of accumulated studies on sexual behavior effects to determine whether this body of work justifies a causal conclusion. The standards for causal inference articulated by Cook and Campbell (1979) are employed to accomplish this objective. It is concluded that the research to date passes the threshold of substantiation for each criterion and that the mass media almost certainly exert a causal influence on United States’ youth sexual behavior.

Citation

Wright, P. J. (2011). Mass media effects on youth sexual behavior assessing the claim for causality. Annals of the International Communication Association, 35(1), 343-385. https://doi.org/10.1080/23808985.2011.11679121