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Media Psychol. 2009 Jan 1;12(2):121-147.

Televised sexual content and parental mediation: Influences on adolescent sexuality.

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  • 1Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Calverton, MD.


Little research has been conducted to examine the influence of exposure to televised sexual content on adolescent sexuality or how parental intervention may reduce negative effects of viewing such content. This study uses self-report data from 1,012 adolescents to investigate the relations among exposure to sexually suggestive programming, parental mediation strategies, and three types of adolescent sexuality outcomes: participation in oral sex and sexual intercourse, future intentions to engage in these behaviors, and sex expectancies. As predicted, exposure to sexual content was associated with an increased likelihood of engaging in sexual behaviors, increased intentions to do so in the future, and more positive sex expectancies. Often, parental mediation strategies were a significant factor in moderating these potential media influences.

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