Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
100 Things Guys Need to Know3 NBS of Julian DrewA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainAdolescent DepressionAfterAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAmelia RulesAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsArtemis FowlAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBeyond Diversity DayBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBill HensonBipolar DisordersBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBoyBoysBrandedBreaking PointBreathing UnderwaterBringing Up ParentsBullying and TeasingCan't Eat, Won't EatCatalystChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChildren Changed by TraumaChildren with Emerald EyesChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness City of OneConcise Guide to Child and Adolescent PsychiatryConquering the Beast WithinContentious IssuesCrackedCutDancing in My NuddypantsDemystifying the Autistic ExperienceDescartes' BabyDilemmas of DesireDirtyDoing ItDoing SchoolDying to Be ThinEating an ArtichokeEducating Children With AutismElijah's CupEllison the ElephantEmerald City BluesEmotional and Behavioral Problems of Young ChildrenEvery Girl Tells a StoryFast GirlsFeather BoyFiregirlForever YoungFreaks, Geeks and Asperger SyndromeFreewillGeography ClubGeorgia Under WaterGirl in the MirrorGirlfightingGirlsourceGirlWiseGLBTQGood GirlsGoodbye RuneGranny Torrelli Makes SoupGrowing Up GirlHandbook for BoysHealing ADDHeartbeatHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHollow KidsHow Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tHug MeIntrusive ParentingIt's Me!It's Perfectly NormalJake RileyJoey Pigza Swallowed the KeyJuvenile-Onset SchizophreniaKeeping the MoonKilling MonstersKim: Empty InsideKnocked Out by My Nunga-NungasLaura Numeroff's 10-Step Guide to Living with Your MonsterLearning About School ViolenceLeo the Lightning BugLet Kids Be KidsLiberation's ChildrenLife As We Know ItLisa, Bright and DarkLittle ChicagoLord of the FliesLoserLove and SexLove That DogManicMastering Anger and AggressionMind FieldsMiss American PieMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MonsterMore Than a LabelMyths of ChildhoodNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNo Two AlikeNot Much Just Chillin'Odd Girl OutOdd Girl Speaks OutOf Mice and MetaphorsOn the Frontier of AdulthoodOne Hot SecondOne in ThirteenOphelia SpeaksOphelia's MomOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustOvercoming School AnxietyParenting and the Child's WorldParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerPediatric PsychopharmacologyPeriod PiecesPhobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and AdolescentsPINSPraising Boys WellPraising Girls WellPretty in PunkPrincess in the SpotlightProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Psychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsRaising a Self-StarterRaising BlazeRaising Resilient ChildrenReclaiming Our ChildrenRedressing the EmperorReducing Adolescent RiskRethinking ADHDReweaving the Autistic TapestryRineke DijkstraRitalin is Not the Answer Action GuideRunning on RitalinSay YesSexual Teens, Sexual MediaShooterShort PeopleShould I Medicate My Child?Skin GameSmackSmashedStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStick FigureStoner & SpazStop Arguing with Your KidsStraight Talk about Your Child's Mental HealthStrong, Smart, & BoldStudent DepressionSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving OpheliaTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTargeting AutismTeaching Problems and the Problems of TeachingTeen Angst? NaaahThat SummerThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Arctic IncidentThe Bipolar ChildThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Carnivorous CarnivalThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Dream BearerThe Dulcimer Boy The Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Eternity CubeThe Explosive ChildThe Field of the DogsThe First IdeaThe Identity TrapThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Little TernThe Mean Girl MotiveThe Men They Will BecomeThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Notebook GirlsThe Nurture AssumptionThe Opposite of InvisibleThe Order of the Poison OakThe Other ParentThe Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Rise and Fall of the American TeenagerThe Secret Lives of GirlsThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Shared HeartThe Spider and the BeeThe StepsThe Thought that CountsThe Unhappy ChildThe Vile VillageThe Whole ChildThen Again, Maybe I Won'tTherapy with ChildrenThings I Have to Tell YouTouching Spirit BearTrauma in the Lives of ChildrenTreacherous LoveTrue BelieverTwistedUnhappy TeenagersWay to Be!We're Not MonstersWhat about the KidsWhat Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhen Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Sex Goes to SchoolWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhere The Kissing Never StopsWhose America?Why Are You So Sad?WinnicottWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!You Hear MeYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting
Child Development and Parenting: Infants
Child Development and Parenting: Early Childhood

by Jane D. Brown, Jeanne R. Steele and Kim Walsh-Childers (editors)
Lawrence Erlbaum, 2001
Review by Kevin M. Purday on May 31st 2003

Sexual Teens, Sexual Media

            This book is a collection of eleven articles plus two introductory pieces about the media and teenagers' sexuality. The editors are, respectively, Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, a specialist in teens and the media who lectures at the University of St. Thomas, and an Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Florida. The authors whose articles are collected in the book also tend to be communications, advertising, media and journalism specialists although four of them are psychologists. The editors' and authors' specialist areas faithfully reflect the balance of the book which is published as part of Lawrence Erlbaum Associates' Communication Series and more specifically their Communication Theory and Methodology Subseries.

            The book's subtitle "Investigating Media's Influence on Adolescent Sexuality" is a good guide to the theme of the collection. The introductory article, written by the book's three editors, sets the tone with an appropriate cartoon and an overview of the importance of the media for young people, helping to shape both their views of themselves and their ideas of sexual relationships as well as being a source of factual information about all aspects of sexuality. Like all the articles in the book, this introduction has excellent tables and figures, is thoroughly researched and well documented and has a superb bibliography listing all the books and articles mentioned in the text. The second article of an introductory nature, "Shaking the Tree of Knowledge for Forbidden Fruit: Where Adolescents Learn about Sexuality and Contraception", is a well-researched comparison of the relative importance of peers, family, school and the media as sources of knowledge about matters sexual. One of its major conclusions is that there is a need for health professionals to work with the media to help them promote more responsible sexual behaviour and this sets the scene for the rest of the book.

            The book then falls into three sections: Television, four chapters; Magazines, three chapters; Movies/Music/Internet, four chapters. The chapters on television covering sexual messages in prime-time, daytime talk shows, adolescents' perceptions, and media impact on adolescents' body dissatisfaction, are all full of hard data, excellent analysis, good tables and figures and an approach which makes them highly suitable for college and university students pursuing a course in media or psychology. In Britain these articles would be ideal for A Level and undergraduate students of sociology as well as journalism, media and psychology. The detailed analysis tends to be quantitative but there is no lack of qualitative comment.

            The following section, Magazines, contains three chapters on magazine coverage of sex and sexual health, using magazines for sex information, and how girls use magazines to form an image of what it means to be a girl. The first of these three is heavily analytical and the results are expressed in precise quantitative terms making the data particularly useful to anyone pursuing similar research. The other two chapters give us a great deal more qualitative information; their intention is not to analyse and to reduce the data to quantitative form. The second of these two, "Girls in Print: Figuring Out What It Means to Be a Girl", was a real eye-opener for this reviewer as I was constantly reaching out for my dictionary of slang to look up words totally new to me!

            The last section, Movies/Music/Internet, is necessarily a bit of a mix. There is an article on the romantic agenda in the most popular movies that uses a detailed coding system to analyse the data. The second chapter in this section, "Teens and Movies: Something to Do, Plenty to Learn", used focus groups and in-depth interviews to discover how important movies are for teenagers. The third chapter, "The Sounds of Sex: Sex in Teens' Music and Music Videos", is basically laying some of the groundwork for future research into this area. Finally, the last chapter, "Sexual Selves on the World Wide Web: Adolescent Girls' Home Pages as Sites for Sexual Self-Expression", was another eye-opener for I had no idea that people deliberately placed extremely intimate details of their personal life on home pages on the web. This chapter was the result of a survey which by definition could only be a fairly random sample and the analysis is of necessity qualitative.

            The book as a whole should be extremely useful to a wide range of people. It is clearly not intended for the general public. However, the critical apparatus and the detailed data analysis make this an ideal book for teachers of subjects covering the whole communications/media/journalism/sociology/psychology range to include in their course reading. For students in those disciplines not only does the book provide a wealth of data but many of the studies, usually surveys, are easily replicable so that students could re-run the survey as a piece of their own coursework and then compare their results with those in this book. In conclusion, therefore, the book comes with a 'highly recommended' tag.

 

© 2003 Kevin M. Purday

Kevin M. Purday teaches at Worthing Sixth Form College, in the UK, and is currently a distance-learning student on the Philosophy & Ethics of Mental Health course in the Philosophy Dept. at the University of Warwick.