Performance Improvement 2011-2012. What is the Influence of Media on Adolescent Sexual Activity?


Researchers synthesized the existing information about new media use by adolescents, with an emphasis on identifying measures of new media exposure and their association with sexual behavior. The project has examined the empirical evidence regarding both new and traditional media use and its links to sexual activity, theoretical perspectives and measurement issues regarding the influence of media on sexual activity, and emerging findings on new media's positive and negative impact on adolescent sexual activity.

There is a pressing need for rigorous, systematic content analyses of the sexual content in new media. Theory development is needed because existing theories do not easily account for issues such as the likely effects of users' new roles in creating and distributing content, as well as consuming it. Sexual health interventions based in new media or incorporating new media components should be developed and tested. Experimental and longitudinal survey studies of the effects of exposure to new media content on adolescents are needed to determine whether new media pose risks or confer benefits in the area of sexual health. New measures will be needed that allow researchers to accurately assess the amount of sexual content that youth are exposed to (or create) as a consequence of using new media.

Report Title: Influence of New Media on Sexual Health: Evidence and Opportunities
Agency Sponsor: OASPE-OHSP, Office of Human Services Policy
Federal Contact: Diana Tyson, 202-401-6670
Performer: Rand Corporation
Record ID: 9527 (Report issued April 11, 2011)

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"PerformanceImprovement2011-2012.pdf" (pdf, 701.44Kb)

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