Misunderstood Media

by hwhit3 on November 5, 2013 - 2:46pm


Today, Media seems to be the source of all problems. On a day-to-day basis people are saying, “Young girls want to be exactly like the models they see in magazines, so they are starving themselves.” Someone else might say, “Young boys are playing violent video games that teach them their problems can be resolved by fighting.” L. Monique Ward, Kayla M. Day, and Marina Epstein explain in their unique article the benefits of media and how many people, teenage girls in particular, depend on the information provided. People like to read magazines because it not only provides them with embarrassing sexual information, but also when they buy the magazine, they consume the information anonymously. In this article it states that 51 percent of readers aged 12 to 18 say that magazines are an important source of information of sexual and reproductive health (Ward 59). Due to positive effects on media, 60 percent of teens say that they learned how to resist and say “no” when unwanted sexual situations arise. Most importantly, 43 percent of readers know how to talk about safe sex with their partner after reading magazines or watching television shows. Media gives more to society than just important information; according to this article women look to soap operas and other shows to serve as an anchor for dating norms, sexual development, and self-expression. L. Monique Ward and colleges use the classic show “I Love Lucy” as an example. “Some women saw her as smart, resourceful and determined and inspired to be like her. Others saw Lucy as ditzy and subservient and made efforts not to be like her” (Ward 63). No matter how women looked at her, she was still an anchor for women’s reflections on sexual self-development.

I think that it is true that media is not credited with the positive influence it inflicts on everyone. Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant from MTV show teenagers what it’s like being a teen mom and discussed all the consequences from unsafe sex; teenagers really learn a lot by this show. Also the media does portray many skinny and attractive models that everyone wants to look like, and most of these models are not good role models, but there are actors and actresses that definitely have a good influence on kids. Jennifer Lawrence for example says, "I'm never going to starve myself for a part...I don't want little girls to be like, 'Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I'm going to skip dinner’" (Serpe 2012). Along with the skinny and fabulous models, there are a lot of advertisements for weight loss programs. Magazines like Cosmo Girl and Seventeen Magazine give a lot of information about what foods not to eat, healthy snacks, and home exercises. There is a down side to media, but no one ever discusses the positive outcomes of it. Media supports society more than it destroys it.




Ward, L., Day, K. M., & Epstein, M. (2006). Uncommonly good: Exploring how mass

media may be a positive influence on young women's sexual health and

development. New Directions For Child & Adolescent Development, 2006(112), 57-70. doi:10.1002/cd.162


Serpe, Gina. (November 8 2012). E News. In eonline.com. Retrieved October 5, 2013, from http://www.eonline.com/news/361385/jennifer-lawrence-talks-love-weight-i....


Although I have a very different opinion on the media I think that you presented not only the article very well but you also made a convincing argument for this side of the issue. You articulated the examples of positive media in a way that really supported the main argument that was being made. I do believe though that media does more harm than good. I’ve had to do assignments that have called for me to research previous findings on the effects media has on children and then write papers talking about those findings. The media does have its positive aspects but I believe that it has also played a large role not only in the increase of eating disorders in young girls but also in the increase of children desensitized to violence in general. There are so many different types of media and I can agree that some types are more harmful than others.

Before reading this blog post I had very strong feelings about the media and those feelings are still present after reading it. To me, the media (in particular commercials and shows for young teens) are still very negative influences, particularly on young people. Commercials show actors, actresses, and models shopping at target or eating at burger king and still make a major impact on those watching who think that since they do those things, they should look like those people do. Through my nutrition class I have learned that media portrayals of women are still significant causes of eating disorders for teen and “tween” girls. Another point that I have that contradicts what you said is that I believe that the MTV shows you mentioned are bad influences because they do glorify teen pregnancy. From my point of view, the lives of insignificant people are often the talk of a high school just because they were pregnant and got on television. I also believe there is a major problem with censorship in terms of what is censored and what is uncensored. That being said, you do make very valid points. Because of the society we grew up in as kids and teenagers in the new millennium, the media is given a bad break and is often blamed for things like school violence and sexual behaviors. The article that you chose states that people often become sexually educated from magazines in a healthy way and the media portrays good role models for women and has statistics that back it up. To me that is very eye opening and I would like to see that information actually reported by the media to back up your claim. Finally, your second last sentence, “There is a down side to media, but no one ever discusses the positive outcomes of it,” is a great way to conclude and make the reader think; I know it had that effect on me.

About the author