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ERIC Number: ED445371
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Feb
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Sex on TV: A Biennial Report to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Executive Summary.
Kunkel, Dale; Cope, Kirstie M.; Farinola, Wendy Jo Maynard; Biely, Erica; Rollin, Emma; Donnerstein, Edward
Television includes a substantial amount of sexual content, and TV's sexual messages are clearly an important part of adolescent sexual socialization. At a time when the nation is facing a sexual health crisis among young people, special attention needs to be paid to those media depictions that could influence how young people develop their attitudes and beliefs about sex. A study examined the amount and nature of sexual messages on television today. Because "how" sex is shown on TV is as important as "how often" sex is shown, the study did not just count the number of sexual situations, but rather looked as well at the context in which sex is presented on television. Television programming of all genres (except sports, newscasts, and children's TV) was sampled during one week using content analysis techniques to measure and assess these messages, a total of 1351 programs across 10 channels were analyzed. Key findings are: of all shows with sexual content, just 9% include any mention of the possible risks or responsibilities of sexual activity, or any reference to contraception, or safer sex; more than half (56%) of all shows contain sexual content; more than two-thirds (67%) of 11 network prime time shows contain either talk about sex or sexual behavior; among all genres of television programming studied, more than half of shows contain sexual content; and of those instances of sexual intercourse either depicted or strongly implied, 73% were among adults over 25, 23% were among young adults ages 19-24, and 3% were among teens. (NKA)
Kaiser Family Foundation, 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (Free Publication #1457). Tel.: (650) 854-9400; fax: (650) 854-4800. Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, CA.