Developing an ability to empathize and make good

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Childhood: Voyages in Development
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Chapter 1 / Exercise 5
Childhood: Voyages in Development
Rathus
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Developing an ability to empathize and make good decisions is part of the foundation for adult sexual health. A sexually healthy adult is able, for example, to make decisions about his or her sexuality that are consistent with his or her own values. The Media as Sexuality Educator of Children The media—television, movies, magazines, even the news—are among many children’s most prominent sexuality educators. After sleeping and attending school, children aged 6 to 8 years spend more time each week watching television than they do play- ing, eating, doing chores, participating in sports, or attending church or synagogue. American children watch an average of 24 hours of television per week. By the time an American child graduates from high school, he or she will have spent 18,000 hours in front of a TV set, compared to only 13,000 hours in a classroom. And a child will view a staggering 20,000 commercials each year as part of that television time (Rideout & Hoff, 1996). In addition to television, movies, music videos, video games, print, and the Internet are pervasive forms of media in today’s world. According to the Sur- Children are naturally curious about sexuality. latency period Outdated Freudian theory that chil- dren aged 6–12 years old have no sexual feelings or interest.
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Childhood: Voyages in Development
The document you are viewing contains questions related to this textbook.
Chapter 1 / Exercise 5
Childhood: Voyages in Development
Rathus
Expert Verified
C H A P T E R 1 1 Sexuality in Childhood and Adolescence 397 geon General’s Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior (Satcher, 2001), sex- ual talk and behavior are increasingly explicit and fre- quent. Much of the content in videos and fi lms por- trays sexual eroticism, and more than half of television programming has sexual content. Thus the media do have potential for providing sexuality information and education. In a national survey, more than half the students said they learned about topics such as birth control, contraception, and preventing pregnancy from television and magazines. Yet the impact of media on actual behavior is controversial and research is inde- cisive (Weinstein & Rosen, 2006). Focusing on media literacy rather than poten- tial harm may be a way of enhancing the benefits of media as a source of useful information. More and more schools are embracing the notion that learning how information is assembled and edited will help students read, hear, and view media more critically (Goldstein, 2005). An analytical perspective can help young people entering puberty as they view media norms that present a narrow cultural definition of physical perfection. The goal is to fos- ter an internal locus of control in which one’s sense of identity is personally defined and not dependent on the scripts of others. An example of such an educational approach for girls in grades 4–8 is called Full of Ourselves: A Wellness Program to Advance Girl Power, Health, and Leader- ship (Steiner-Adair & Sjostrom, 2006). It is a primary prevention program aimed at helping girls decrease their vulnerability to body preoccupation and eating disorders. One of the units focuses on media literacy, particularly advertising strategies. Both parents and

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