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ID number:225128
Published: 07.09.2004.
Language: English
Level: College/University
Literature: 6 units
References: Not used

In my paper, I am going to discuss whether and how mass media may shape adolescents’ sexualities. I argue that, though there is no doubt that media have a great impact on the formation of adolescents sexualities, nevertheless, adolescents do have substantial control over the use of mass media - what medium, which messages, where and when. I argue that teens are capable to assess critically the content of mass media. They are inclined to choose those media messages that best suit their needs and personalities. Thus I may say that they also take part in and contribute to the formation of their sexualities.
I do not view adolescents as a passive audience, mere consumers of products produced by mass media how they are often portrayed in the images of popular culture and even scientific studies (see Gauntlett, 1998). I am of the opinion that adolescents do critically assess the content of mass media. They select and choose those media messages that can be of some use for them. I agree with Jeffrey Arnett’s argument that teens use media for their self-socialization (Arnett, 1995). He defines socialization as a process through which people adopt the ways of their culture (ibid.). Arnett also specifies three main goals of socialization: 1) impulse control, including the development of a conscience; 2) role preparation and performance, for example, including for occupational roles and gender roles; 3) the cultivation of sources of meaning - what is important, what is to be valued (ibid.).…

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