ERIC Number: ED334614
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-May
Reference Count: N/A
Popular Media and the Teenage Sexual Agenda.
A qualitative study examined how teenagers react to and interpret certain popular media messages. In addition it explored the relationship between content containing various sexual messages and teenagers' responses to those messages, with particular attention to the critical abilities this audience exhibits. Fifty male and female teenagers aged 11-15 were recruited from public and private schools and were individually interviewed during the summer of 1989. Each had been given a videotape to view containing clips from two popular teen-oriented PG-13 movies ("Top Gun" and "For Keeps") and two then-popular music videos (Madonna's "Express Yourself" and Ton Loc's "Funky Cool Medina"). Respondents also completed a questionnaire surveying the range and quantity of movie or videotape viewing and assessing social and demographic characteristics. Results indicated that material that was well liked was processed with more detail: teenagers were more articulate about and remembered more about content they preferred. For the most part, these movies stimulated affirmation of the teenagers' existing ideas about appropriate sexual behavior. In that sense, the embedded sexual messages did not provoke self questioning as much as they provoked self affirmation. Teenagers' interaction with music videos seemed to operate quite differently. These teens interpreted music videos in terms of the artist performing them, his or her other work, the musical genre, and the sorts of people who like that genre. The sexual messages in the chosen videos were sometimes misunderstood or ignored, sometimes the object of derision or embarrassment. They were apparently not as capable of stimulating self awareness as the movies. (Twenty-seven references are attached.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Music Videos; Sexual Attitudes
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (41st, Chicago, IL, May 23-27, 1991).