|Media Influences on Youth|
We live in a society bombarded by various forms of media. From TV and radio, to printed materials and the Internet, information and entertainment are a button click away. Media companies target teens. While all types of media reach our children, two in particular are worth specific note.
In the convenience of your home, you can learn evidence-based information and practical skills that can help make the transition years easier.
You will find 4 classes each lasting between 10 and 20 minutes. After each class there is a very short assessment as well as recommended activities for you and your child. Research shows that time spent with your teen in constructive activities enhances your relationship.
The typical American teen watches around three hours of television a day, making it one of the primary sources for news and information. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that:
The prevalence of sexual content makes TV a powerful force and this has the potential to distort a sense of reality. If a behavior is seen enough, teens may begin to think it’s no big deal, even if personal or family values say otherwise.
Teens today belong to one of the most connected generations ever. Internet savvy, they surf the web to shop, to chat, to play games, and yes, to find out information about health issues. According to a 2009 PEW Internet & American Life Study entitled, "Teens and Technology":
For the most part, youth say they find the information online to be useful, even if they remain cautious about the quality of the information.9 A study by OTX finds that on average teens (aged 13-17) spend 11.5 hours online a week.10 A great deal of this time is spent on non-schoolwork activities.
Since information on the Internet is unregulated, it is up to the consumer to sort through it or find ways to block out unwanted content. Chat rooms can be especially dangerous – help your teen know not everyone has his or her best interests in mind. Did you know that one out of three teenage girls has been sexually harassed in a chat room? And only 7% of those teens told their parents about the harassment, out of fear that their parents might ban them from future Internet use.11 While a recent study has shown sexual solicitations online to be decreasing (mostly due to heeded warnings about online dangers), still 13% of youths aged 10-17 had been solicited while on the computer. This is down from approximately 20% in 2000.12 In addition, the pornography industry has saturated the Internet with porn sites and popup windows. 70% of teens have accidentally come across pornography while on the internet.13
The media can be a great way to initiate conversation with your teen. We encourage you to be aware of what your child watches. If possible, watch shows with your child and then discuss your thoughts, feelings, and values related to the program. Monitor what Internet sites your child visits. Above all, talk to your child about what he or she is seeing. Make sure that the media isn’t doing all of the talking.
What Can a Family Do?
8 “Sex on TV 4,” January 2005, The Kaiser Family Foundation.
11 “The Net Effect” 2002, Girl Scout Research Institute
|Last Updated on Thursday, 25 August 2011 11:26|