The presentation of women’s bodies with sexual overtones in the media has risen tremendously over the recent past invoking myriad debates. In the United States alone, teenagers spend more than six hours watching television and movies with several instances of sexual images and discussions.
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Most young people have television sets in their sleeping rooms, exposing them to sexual-oriented material. Media content with sexual themes has also become increasingly available, especially with the advancements in cable and videocassette technologies.
One study showed that sexual themes ranging from flirts to sex in the media have risen compared to programs aired in the 90s. The study contends that one in every ten programs contains sexual connotations. Indeed, such a high exposure affects the society as well as individuals negatively (Brown 42).
Sexual inferences are not just available on television programs, but also in many other types of media, and they all contribute to the negative impact on the society. Sexual materials are present in music videos, magazines, movies, and even radio talks. Half of the music videos released to the market by various music producers contain sexual and erotic content.
Furthermore, more than two-thirds of the movies produced by Hollywood directors are R-rated (Brown 43). Young people seem to get access to the R-rated films and explicit music from the market with ease, exposing them to sexual themes at an early stage. Magazines and related publications are also notorious in availing sexual content, and they aim at showing how women can dress and beautify themselves to attract men.
Understanding how various sections of viewers interpret media content is important. Some studies argue that young people interpret the content differently as compared to older people. Young people may consider sexual media as appropriate while older people regard the same content profane.
Further, women consider media content sexual in more cases than men do, under the same conditions. However, they, women, approve behaviors that support the continuation of relations and disapprove those that threaten relationships (Cloete 2).
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As both male and female viewers interpret what they see on various media forms, they also assess and consider ways through which they can incorporate the material into people’s lives. With time, media contents shape the ideologies, attitudes, and character of both males and females.
Today, we live in environments that are highly influenced by digital video recordings, television programs, computers, and many other forms of devices that make access to sexual content extremely simple. Although some try to avoid sexual content incorporated in various digital media, it is extremely hard. As such, digital content and devices have changed cultures and norms in the society.
Young people are the most affected, and the impact that the media has on them mirrors the influence that the media has on sexuality in the society. The media have also led to a wide variety of attitudes towards sexual morality (Cloete 3).
In conclusion, the impact of the media on people’s lives, especially in the understanding of sexual morality, is huge. Since more than half of the music and over three-quarters of the videos produced for digital media contain sexual innuendos, is impact on lives and cultures is enormous.
The youth, both male and female, are impacted the most as they spend more time on television and other forms of media than other cohorts do. As years go by, the perception of sexual morality continues to change. On the same note, what people deem as acceptable today keep on shifting further from the conventional values of our ancestors.
Brown, JD. “Mass Media Influences on Sexuality.” Journal of Sex Research 39.1 (2002): 42–5. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.
Cloete, Anita. “Youth Culture, Media and Sexuality: What Could Faith Communities Contribute?” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 68.2 (2012): 1–7. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.