Sex, Romance, and Media
DOI link for Sex, Romance, and Media
Sex, Romance, and Media book
This chapter summarizes evidence indicating a link between media use and young people's attitudes about romance and sexuality. Focusing on entertainment media, which encompasses television, magazines, and films, it examines the findings of dozens of studies compiled using both electronic and ancestral search mechanisms that were as exhaustive as possible. The chapter divides the findings into content analyses, correlational survey research, and experimental studies. Content analyses of romantic relationships in magazines, television, and films have found little variety in how romantic relationships are portrayed. According to social cognitive theory (SCT), human knowledge and behavior acquisition can occur via observation of media models, a process called vicarious learning. Research on media and sex, in particular, has utilized scripts-based theories, borrowing ideas about sexual scripts and ideas about the processing and storage of scripts from the cognitive information processing model. Thus, expectations regarding sexuality are lowered, whereas expectations about romance are heightened.