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Teens, Sex and TV

Written by Lenora Dannelke

There seems to be a continuing theme in the social work journals I’ve

been reading for these summaries. April addition touched on the same

problems with teens and TV. This article began with the examples of

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Power Rangers – Pokemon manias. Just as

the manias with younger television programs, teens are influenced greatly

by sex in shows and music videos that target teens.

“More than one-half of all half of all television shows contain sexual

content, reports the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) website

(, averaging more than three scenes per hour involving

sex” (Dannelk, 2002, p. 22). Only a very small percent of these shows

include information on the possible risks of sexual promiscuity or

contraception and/or how to practice safe sex. This article in not advocating

censorship, but say, pay attention to the messages teens are receiving.

There are positive outcomes beginning now. The U.S. Public Health

Service reported “ more than one-half high school boys and girls indicated

learning about birth control and pregnancy from television” (Dannelk, 2002,

p. 22).

Congress approved 50 million dollars to teach abstinence only in

classrooms, but that only. Contraception and practicing safe sex were not

allowed to be taught if using this money. As the Bush administration pushes

forward with more funding abstinence only programs. “One focused

STDs. our efforts should be to teach both. MTV’s website (www. If a teen chooses to have sex. . p. is making a significant effort to enlighten teens on sexual matters. and emotional wounds. and parental involvement. Teens should not have to suffer. and educational resources in the community” (Dannilke. 2002. disease. and possibly die. for the protection from pregnancy. this and the other articles stress education. but in our society. Over all. and birth control and provides extensive information on sex. 23). and the contraception with condoms should be available. the information should be available. contraception. if abstinence is absolutely out of the question. MTV. from having sex. The abstinence only programs are fine in a world where sex is not promoted constantly. abstinence only.television channel. without shame and guilt. and our teens hormonally charged.mtv. is most important to the safety of our teens.

sex. Social Work Today. 22-23. Teens. (2002).Dannelke. . L. 2(15). and TV.