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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221440 Find in a Library
Title: "Always Use Protection": Communication Boys Receive About Sex from Parents, Peers, and the Media
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:37  Issue:2  Dated:February 2008  Pages:113-126
Author(s): Marina Epstein; L. Monique Ward
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using a sample of 286 male college undergraduates, this study used a mixed-method approach in examining the amount and content of sex-related communications the sample received from their parents, peers, and the media.
Abstract: Although the respondents perceived communications from parents about sex to be lower in prominence than communications from peers and the media, parents were still perceived to communicate important messages. Parental communications contextualized sexual intercourse as reserved for close relationships of love and/or marriage and sexual intercourse as appropriate only in the marital relationship. Parental messages also promoted safe sex and provided information on pregnancy, fertilization, and other types of facts about reproduction. Parents tended to acknowledge the inevitability of their sons' emergent sexuality and viewed it as a force to be controlled until marriage or a subsequent stage of emotional maturity and judgment. Peers emerged as the major source of communication on most sexual topics, including sexual intercourse, birth control, and dating norms and expectations. Peer communications promoted a relatively sex-positive attitude, characterizing sexual expression as desirable, natural, and casual. Peers tended to validate sexual stereotypes of men and women. Media sources likewise communicated messages that sex is fun, casual, and positive and a natural experience of male adolescence. Findings suggest that a focus on themes and specific messages instead of topics may make it easier to capture the dynamics of sexual socialization and offer important implications for effects research. Also, the examination of how young men manage mixed or conflicting messages from various sources may offer further insight into the complex process of converting these messages into attitudes and behaviors. The survey measured the topics communicated and the themes and values communicated. 6 tables and 57 references
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Communications; Media coverage; Parent-Child Relations; Peer influences on behavior; Sexual behavior; Youth development
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