Abbey Hull for redOrbit.com – @AbbeyHull4160
While the debate on when music TV exactly began continues, there is no doubt that teenage boys and girls are influenced by music TV. In a new study from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, researchers found that after sexually active youth of both genders watch music TV, they think that their peers are also sexually active. Even more, when girls and boys identify males in music TV to be sexually active, it makes boys want to watch more, and girls less.
Published in Springer’s journal Sex Roles, the study conducted research over the course of one year by gathering information from 515 Belgian teenagers aged between 12 and 15 years old at three different times of the year. They were asked three questions: how much music television they watched, how sexually active they were, and how sexually active they thought their peers were.
The thought process behind these questions was that music TV was a popular pastime for both European and American teenagers, and the sexual content within the videos has been linked to teenagers becoming sexually active at a younger age.
“Regarding the influence of music television exposure on sexual behavior, our findings suggest that increased sexual activities may be triggered by media use among boys, but not among girls,” co-author Eline Frison stated. “As the portrayal of women as objects of lust reflects patriarchal values, media images that support this type of male dominance may provoke resistance in female viewers. This is especially valid among those who view such activity as a threat because of the high sexual activity rates of male peers.”
So this explains why girls proved different than boys. While both genders were influenced about how sexually active their peers of the same sex were and thought their friends were also sexually active, this fact made boys watch even more music TV and girls less. For girls, they didn’t want to be reminded of what their boyfriends might be doing, and chose to turn off the program. This defense reaction can be twofold: the girls may believe that many male peers are sexually active, and they may reject music video media content that tends to belittle and portray women as sexual objects.
Knowing this, the blanketed influence of mass media on teenagers’ sexual behavior that we hear about everyday is no longer accurate, as researchers continue to study this subject.