A recent article in the New York Times highlights that teens are spending more time with media than ever before — an average of 7.5 hours a day. And, given that they can use several different types of media at once (listen to music while playing a video game or posting on Facebook), teens actually manage to bend time and get in nearly 11 hours of media content into that seven and a half hours.
Heavy media use (defined as more than 16 hours a day!) was found to be associated with several negatives, including behavior problems and lower grades. So, the increase in media, at least in its extreme, may be cause for concern.
The study was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, who has a strong history of researching media use and content. KFF is also known for its thorough analysis of the sexual content on television (the Sex on TV series). Major findings there include that the amount of sexual content on TV continues to increase, and that references to safer sex or sexual risks and responsibilities are rare (about 14% of sexual content alludes to them). The last Sex on TV report I could find was from 2005.
But maybe KFF realizes that those studies are outdated, and it’s time to look more closely at the sexual content of the digital media teens consume instead. I look forward to it!
Nerd alert: This blog posting by the staff at OKCupid is full of statistics, but ultimately interesting. It demonstrates how much looks (i.e., your photo) matters when it comes to getting any hits on your online dating post. In fact, they determine that your picture matters more than anything else you post on the site.
What is sort of interesting, however, is how men and women respond to the attractiveness of the photo. Men will judge most women to be of “average” attractiveness — very few will be found to be decidedly unattractive and, likewise, few will be seen as extremely attractive. In somewhat surprising contrast, women are MUCH more likely to rate men as unattractive to average attractiveness.
However — how men and women react to that information differs. Men, despite there only being (in their eyes) very few attractive women will only write to those women. Women, who perhaps because they know there are so few (in their eyes) prime men, are more likely to write to those they find less attractive. The result? A highly attractive woman gets 5 times as many messages as an average woman and 28 times as many messages as an unattractive woman. These differences aren’t as great the other way around where the most attractive guys get 11 times the messages the least attractive do.
Just another way to point out that even though we discourage our youth to post pictures of themselves that will gain “this sort of attention” we have to be honest with ourselves — this sort of attention works in the adult world, too.