Influences Over Sexual Decisions

How family, media, and society influence sexual behaviors.

Family Influences.

One of the major influences over having healthy or unhealthy sexual behaviors is the relationship that teenagers have with their families , specifically their parents. Research from the advocacy for youth organization along with other research indicate that when parents can have open communications with their kids they are more likely to have healthier sexual behaviors. In fact teenagers who had talked with their parents about safe sex were twice as likely to use contraceptives than teenagers who had never discussed contraceptives with their parents. And mothers who talked to their kids about condoms were 3 times likely to have teenagers that used condoms during sexual intercourse than mothers who did not discuss condom usage. All together this indicates that having conversations with your parents about safe and healthy sex is most likely to lead to teenagers not being irresponsible when it comes to sex.

Media Influences

Another major influence of sexual behaviors in teens would be from the media. Many teenagers who are active online or watch TV can be influenced by the sexual situations they see. According to the Social Workers Organization over 56% of TV shows have sexual content. But a very small number of those 56% rarely ever discuss the possible fallback's of sex like unwanted pregnancy and STD's. This can influence teens to gather the notion that sex can have no repercussions leading to them being careless when or if they do decide to have sexual intercourse. Although the media is often seen as something negative , it can also be positive since at least 1/2 of high school students said that they got information about birth control from the TV shows that they watch and from online.
Big image

Society Influences

Society and societal standards are a huge part of influencing sexual behavior. Many teenagers in the United States are afraid to buy condoms or get birth control in fear of being looked down upon in society. This makes it hard for a teenager who may want to have safe sex and make the right choices, not feel like they will be able too. It can make teenagers feel shameful and feel fear from making the right choice. This could cause a higher risk, health wise, if they were to be sexually active without being safe. If society keeps putting this idea into teenagers heads then they will not be able to make the right choices when being sexually active.

Anna Havemeier and Duthi Hassan

Hi, this is our national sex education standard project.