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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2014 Nov;53(13):1239-47. doi: 10.1177/0009922814538700. Epub 2014 Jun 13.

Sexual media exposure, sexual behavior, and sexual violence victimization in adolescence.

Author information

  • 1Center for Innovative Public Health Research, San Clemente, CA, USA
  • 2University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM, USA.
  • 3University of New Hampshire, Crimes against Children Research Center, Durham, NH, USA.



Emerging research suggests sexual media affects sexual behavior, but most studies are based on regional samples and few include measures of newer mediums. Furthermore, little is known about how sexual media relates to sexual violence victimization.


Data are from 1058 youth 14 to 21 years of age in the national, online Growing up with Media study.


Forty-seven percent reported that many or almost all/all of at least one type of media they consumed depicted sexual situations. Exposure to sexual media in television and movies, and music was greater than online and in games. All other things equal, more frequent exposure to sexual media was related to ever having had sex, coercive sex victimization, and attempted/completed rape but not risky sexual behavior.


Longer standing mediums such as television and movies appear to be associated with greater amounts of sexual media consumption than newer ones, such as the Internet. A nuanced view of how sexual media content may and may not be affecting today's youth is needed.


adolescent sexual behavior; sexual media; sexual violence victimization

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