Teen Sexuality Essay Research Paper In our

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Teen Sexuality Essay, Research Paper In our constantly developing society, it is not surprising to note that adolescents’ sexual attitudes and behaviours have greatly changed within the past two decades. Darling, Kallen & VanDusen, (1984) in their study of college students found a major increase in the number of young people reporting to have had sexual intercourse. They also found that college age females, who were once thought to be less sexually active than college age males, were now just as sexually active. In Canadian data from university studies, a dramatic rise from 1967 to 1979 in the percentage of students who had experienced premarital intercourse was shown (Fitzhonly & Whiteside, 1984). These findings of increased promiscuity among adolescents inevitably

evoke a strong sense of curiosity and raise the question: “which factors have been the most influential in regards to increased teenage promiscuity”? Today, not only are there more youths who are sexually active but research shows that the majority of them do not use contraceptives on a regular basis (Chng, 1983). The reasons behind this lack of birth control use are equally important as the increase in sexual activity for the problem of unwanted pregnancy among the young in society is remarkably prevalent and continually on the rise(Cohan, 1983). The reasons behind adolescents engaging in sexual intercourse so early in life are extensive and yet it becomes increasingly evident that cultural changes within our society have played the single most influential role in this area.

Society’s attitudes towards sex have dramatically changed in the past two decades and this has directly influenced sexual activity among our youth but throughout all of society as well. Today, sex is exploited throughout the media in an attempt to increase business revenue. By catering to our basis sexual desires the media can easily manipulate and conform the attitudes and actions of its patrons. The youth of today seem to be the most easily manipulated group by sexual propaganda due to their conformist vulnerability. Young people have no choice but to deal with other’s ideas about sexuality before they have been able to form their own opinions and beliefs. This liberalization is not necessarily bad in itself but rather it is sexual exploitation coupled with a lack of

quality education that creates unhealthy attitudes and beliefs about sex within the minds of our youth. As a result of this extensive and powerful media, society has an increasing amount of influence in our children’s decision making than it did in the past. In the past, the Church used to set the moral code which parents then enforced. Today, teens listen to their peers and the media much more than to their parents or religious affiliations (Carlson, 1985). Therefore, in a society where attitudes are strongly influenced and even controlled by the sexually suggestive powers of the media it is no wonder that sexual intercourse is increasingly prevalent among our adolescent population. Societal goals such as money and power have also had an enormous effect on the family

structure. The increasing number of dual income families is directly proportionate to the decrease in parent/child time sharing. Also, the prevalence of divorce sometimes makes the family unit one of the most unstable forces in an adolescent’s life. The saying “do as I say, not as I do” may be a common standard in many homes (Darling, et al., 1984). As a result of these factors that negatively effect parent/child interaction, children often lose out on positive role models who they can turn to with questions or problems. Rather, many have no choice but to talk with their friends about sexual matters or remain in the dark in the area of sexuality. It is an unfortunate reality that when youths do turn to their peers about sex, the message they receive is often very clear yet