The media is often blamed for having a negative influence on adolescent life. Whether it is presented by means of television shows, magazines, advertisements, news, radio or any other means in which people communicate, the media displays an identity to these adolescents that society deems as sexual appeal and is characterized by sex, quality or state of being sexual. Media portrayals add to confusion on personal image, and can affect ones outlook on competition and violence (Federman, 1998). The media influences adolescents’ psychological and physical development during their cognitive development stage when it’s exposed to them (Schmidt, 2008). This is the stage when the adolescent is most vulnerable and sensitive to the surrounding in
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One study conducted in April 2006 resulted in finding the more exposure adolescents have to sexual content in media, they are twice as more likely to have sexual intercourse (Brown, 2006). One-thousand public middle school students in North Carolina, ages 12 to 14 years old, were surveyed as well as later when they were 14 to 16 years old. Researchers measured each teen's sexual media diet by weighting the frequency of exposure to sexual content in four major types of media: TV, movies, music, and magazines. The results showed that exposure to sexual content at ages 12-14 increased the risk of early teen sex by 30 percent. Another alarming study conducted by Marijke Lemal and Jan Vand den Bulk revealed the relationship between adolescents’ frequency of exposure of semi-explicit sexual content by the media and their fear of the liable consequences (2009). Researchers found that exposure to sex do reduce adolescents’ fear of consequences.
The media also plays a great role in developing eating disorders, such as overweight that leads to obesity. The media promotes quick, easy to go, great tasting unhealthy food, found at fast food franchises, such as Burger King, Dominoes, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, and Subway, often making the healthy appear to be bland, boring, and nasty. Approximately two billion dollars are invested into promoting these unhealthy foods in the media (Teinowitz, 2008). Adolescents feed on