Sexual Messages in Advertising & Other Media
 
(see recommended texts/videos below)

 KEY QUOTE:  "Sexual content in mass media has been around as long as mass media itself,’’ Arizona State professor Mary-Lou Galician, a researcher, author and media literacy advocate says. "The difference is the proliferation of it. We live in a 24/7  media world now. Take, as an example, the exploitation of Britney Spears, who is literally pulling off her clothes during her performances. Her real talent lies in being  an objectified image. And it is an image, by extension, of our country around the world.’’
 Source: http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/index.php?sty=51589



 INTRODUCTION
 Now here is a topic that many educators may not feel comfortable addressing in the classroom. But the expression "sex sells," is certainly one that many advertisers believe in. Many state's health teaching standards include: "Analyze the influence of personal beliefs, culture, media,technology and other factors on health." Many will agree that messages about sex found in the media certainly communicate and educate to audiences. But what are students understanding?  Is the message always correct? And is anything important left out of the message?

 Educators and students should review media literacy "core concepts" as well as these critical thinking questions before proceeding. 
 

Downloadable news stories and other resources Research Articles
  Study Confirms Movies with Sex Scenes Influence Teen Behavior
  Girls as young as 6 want to be 'sexy,' study says
  Sexual Content Proliferates
  
Teens learning about sex through magazines, not parents: study
  Why Sex Sells
  Study: Sexualized portrayals of females are norm in pop culture
  What Media Teaches Kids About Sexual Health(May 2011)
  PTC criticizes heavy sexual content on TV
  Media: one of the leading sex educators in the U.S.
 
TV Shows Spur Earlier Sex For Kids
 
Lolita at 5
 
Too Sexy, Too Soon
(Family Circle)
  
Editorial: Sex, sex and more sex. Got your attention?
  PTC bashes TV's use of sex (Aug 2008)
  What's Missing About Teen Pregnancy in TV, Films? (Newsweek)
  Little Girls Gone Wild -Marketing to little kids (Salon)
  Patron Slapped by Industry Group for Sexy Ad Imagery
  Sex Doesn't Always Sell
  Goodbye to Girlhood (Wash Post series)
  Sexy media images linked to problems in girls
  Girls gone wild: what are celebs teaching kids?
  Tuned in
  Sexy, sassy, still in primary school

  When ads say bad things to little girls
  Listen: Jean Kilbourne how Big Media sexualizes children
  
So Sexy So Soon

  Listen:
NPR : Media, Sex and Talking to Tweens
  Teens Call Hyper-Sexualized Media Images "Normal"

  Call to ban jeans ads (Australia)
  Celebrities make pregnancy glamorous
  Fashion industry using sex to sell ad nauseam
  Article/study   The Media Sex Relationship
  What's a mom to do?
  Articles: Sex on TV Study (news stories; link to research below)
  Are teens overexposed?
  PR/study:  Sex in ads improves men's purchase intent
  Article/study:  Sex on TV 'wildly unrealistic'
  
Article/study: Overexposed: teens, sex & mass media
  Environmentalists sexy ad outrages women In Mexico
  New Dolce & Gabbana racy ads controversy
  Selling Sex to Kids
  Sexy Jeans Ad Rejected by Magazine & Times Square
  Critics: 'That's Too Hot' of Sexy Carl's Jr. Ad
  Is childhood becoming oversexed?
  Just the Facts of Life: porn in the digital age
  Lesson plan: Social Influences (grade 7)
  Lesson plan: Sex in Advertising (grade 11-12)
  Parents' Dilemma: Keeping Kids from Sex on TV
  Magazines Upping The Cleavage Quotient To Boost Sales
  The disappearing tween years

  Sex In Advertising
  Sex in Advertising
(A History)
  Website essays: Take if off: Sex in Advertising
 
 
Young people not greatly affected by sexually explicit media: study
  Sex in movies pushes kids to have sex earlier
 
Magazine trends study finds increase in advertisements using sex
  Sexy songs have detrimental effect on kids

  UB study finds media sexualization of women outranks men
  Hollywood over-sexualizing teen girls: report
 
Influence of New Media on Adolescent Sexual Health: Evidence and Opportunities
  Study Reveals New Data on Screen Sexiness (April 2011)
 
Sexualised Teen Girls: Tinseltown's New Target (PTC Study, Dec. 2010)
 
Study: exposure to sexual content not to blame for teen sex rates
  Study shows sex sells, sometimes
  Sex images in media harming kids' mental health
 
New Research Shows Sex in Movies Doesn't Lead to Box-Office Success
 
Children Who View Adult-targeted TV May Become Sexually Active ...
  TV, Low Self-Esteem, and Family Problems Lead to Early “Sexual Debut”/ study abstract
 
Sex on TV Increases Teen Pregnancy, Says Report/Study links teen pregnancy to sexy TV shows /
  TV habits, risk of pregnancy linked
  Effects of a Peer-Led Media Literacy Curriculum on Adolescents' Knowledge and Attitudes Toward Sexual Behavior
  and Media Portrayals of Sex
 
Study: Profit Motive Behind Sexualization of Tween Girls
 
Sexualization of Girls Is Linked to Common Mental Health Problems in Girls and Women-Eating Disorders
 
Sex in ads (apparently) doesn't sell (to women)
  "
Sexy Media Matter: Exposure to Sexual Content in Music, Movies, Television, and Magazines Predicts Black and White Adolescents' Sexual Behavior,"
  Movies 'condoning sex and drugs'

  Violence and Sex in Television Programs Do Not Sell Products in Advertisements
 
Impact of the media on adolescent sexual attitudes and behaviors
  Explicit media can lead to permissive attitudes about sex (study)
  Verbal sexual content on TV more powerful than visual images (study)
  Teens overexposed to media sex
   Linking Exposure to Outcomes: Early Adolescents' Consumption of Sexual
  Content in Six Media
(Mar.2005)
  Teens, Sex & The Media
  Teenagers and the Media: A Media Analysis of Sexual Content on Television
  Professor studies sexuality and social messages
   Can the mass media be healthy sex educators?
 Kaiser Research: Sex in TV 4 (2005); Sex on TV 3 (2003); Teens, Sex & TV (2002); 
 Sex on TV 2
(2001) News Graphic
 Research (Mediascope)  Teens, Sex & The Media
 Calvin Klein ads
(warning: some may find material here objectionable)
 YSL ad and website
 Sexism and sexuality in advertising







 



 Curriculum:  Youth Talk Back: Sex, Sexuality & Media Literacy Teacher Guide
 Downloadable book with activities/resources:
Media, Sex and Health: A Community Guide for Professionals and Parents
 Lesson Plan: Reality? TV: What is the media using sex to sell you?
 Website/resource:  SexInAdvertising.com
 Website/resource:  MediaRelate: Understanding Media Images of Love, Sex & Relationships/MediaRelate: teaching resources
 
Website/resource:  Teen Aware: Sex, Media & You
 Student handout:  Sex, Violence and Advertising


 
Sexualized Images in Advertising
 There can be no denying that "sex sells." This article explores how advertisements in mainstream magazines have increasingly 
 relied on the explicit sexualization of both men and women to sell products. 

 Recommended texts/videos: 


 

 









The Sexualization of Childhood, edited by Sharna Olfman

 



Sexy Inc
Our Children Under Influence

DVD
 

So Sexy So Soon
 blog

   
Palgrave Macmillan 
ISBN:
1-4039-1823-6
book website

Read a sample chapter

Sex In Advertising:
Perspectives on the
Erotic Appeal

Book cover from Sex in Advertising: Perspectives on the Erotic Appeal
Sexual Teens, 
Sexual Media


review
Sex Sells!
The Media’s Journey from Repression to Obsession

Sex, Love & Romance 
In The Mass Media


Media Literacy: Thinking Critically About Sex in the Media
Media, Sex 
and the Adolescent

Video

Sexual Stereotypes In The Media

Page updated last: 04/26/2013  

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