Television and the sexual behavior of Black/African American female adolescents Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/mk61rk77g

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  • Sex on television has nearly doubled since 1998 while sexual risk and responsibly messages have decreased. During this time frame, television watching has become one of the most popular pastimes in the United States, especially among Black/African Americans. Black youth are more likely to report higher levels of satisfaction with television images and view characters as more realistic than the average youth. Here, we examine how viewing higher amounts of television affects certain sexual behaviors of Black female adolescents using data from the 2007 Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance Survey. Results indicate that the number of television hours viewed on an average school day was significantly related to initiating sexual intercourse before the age of 14, condom use, and contraceptive use to prevent pregnancy for all adolescent females in the sample. Though the number of television hours viewed on an average day was not significantly related to the sexual behaviors of Black adolescent females, this group was more likely to initiate sex before 14, report having 3 or more lifetime sexual partners, and more likely to report using condoms at last intercourse than their female counterparts in any other racial group. Black female adolescents who watched 5 or more hours of television, however, were almost four times more likely to report using any form of contraceptive to prevent pregnancy than their white counterparts. These findings suggest that the amount of television watched on an average school day does not influence the sexual behaviors of Black female adolescents in high school. More research is needed to determine the effect television has on Black female adolescents.
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