Power of Print Media

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The Power of Media to influence youth

Abstract:
This study is based on one of the most common methods of qualitative research – Thematic Analysis. It highlights the extent to which print media is using sexuality to generate interest amongst the youth for a particular product or service. The study also focuses on the effect that mass media have on our youngsters. To prove this further, the theory of Social Reflection has been used as a tool which shows the kind of impact a particular message or an advertisement (in this case) will have on society. For this test random sampling method was used, fourteen random newspapers from 30th May 2002 to 10th November 2011 were taken as samples to conduct the test. The study has verified and there are enough grounds on basis of which it can be said that print media or media in general is communicating the messages in a way which has got huge impact on our young generation.

Introduction:
United Kingdom is facing a lot challenge because of increasing rate of teenage sex and the credit for this goes to media which openly portrays sexual activities. Apart from this United Kingdom is also worried about the rising health issues amongst teens who are highly vulnerable to media .Schools in United Kingdom have incorporated sex education as a subject to equip students with the needed information. Still teenage pregnancy cases are highest in United Kingdom. Only teaching sex education as a subject in Schools is not sufficient the role of a mentor or a teacher should be to impress upon the students the consequences of teenage sex (Kitzinger & Farquhar, 1999). The need of hour is to provide more realistic and detailed information on sex to our teens.

Media plays a very vital role in promoting the urge amongst youth to have more intimate relationships .The kind of sexually appealing messages, gestures, language, images that are being used in mass media encourages the teens to experience sex by getting involved with someone. (Kitzinger, 1999; Batelor, 2003) A person’s approach towards understanding sex depends to a large extent on the way sex is being portrayed in media. Also media increases the probability of having sex related discussion with peers or an intimate chat with an individual (Harris &Davis, 1982).

Understanding the criticality of role that media plays in life of an adolescent is very crucial. At this stage in human development cycle a child goes through various hormonal changes leading to a desire to become independent. The sexual content and the information shown in media have a long lasting impact on child’s psychology. The problem gets worst as these days children have an easy access to television, magazines and most importantly internet which is full of adult related content. As a small child one may not be able to experience sex and sexual products but that desire remains which they fulfill as an adolescent without being aware of the risks related to it.

The television shows and programs are full of adult related content and scenes portraying youngsters having a girlfriend or boyfriend. Youngsters are the main audience of such kind of shows and as per a study after effects of these programs are so much that young boys and girls feel more inclined towards sexual activities (Sapololsky & Tabalret 1991).Also these television shows create an image in mind of youth that involvement in these kind of sexual activities will make them independent individuals. Our youth who is not very well versed with the consequences of having such relations blindly follow the trend leading to emotional and psychological problems. Only right guidance can safeguard our youth against all this and ensure that they take well informed decisions.

The damage being done by media to our society is not limited to this only, but goes far beyond. Media presents teens as problematic, irresponsible and immature individuals, who cannot understand sexual issues .The...
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