Influence of New Media on Adolescent Sexual Health
Evidence and Opportunities
Sexual risk behavior among U.S. adolescents is a major public health concern, with young people accounting for a disproportionate number of unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infection diagnoses. Although a great deal of research attention has been devoted to understanding what puts adolescents at risk for these outcomes, it is clear that more must be done to address risky sexual activity among youth. One route is by identifying additional contributors that have been understudied — factors that put youth at risk and levers that can be used in preventive interventions. Over the past decade, new research has identified media as having the potential to serve both roles. A review of the literature linking media use to adolescent sexual attitudes and behavior, focusing primarily on newer media, reveals what may be largely unintended effects of exposure to sexual content. "New media" refers to content created and delivered via the Internet, including social networking and other specialized kinds of websites, as well as content delivered on other digital platforms, such as cell phones. A review of new-media interventions designed to improve adolescent sexual health also helps clarify what is already known and identify where there is the strongest need for further study in this rapidly changing area of adolescent life.
- Copyright: RAND Corporation
- Availability: Web-Only
- Pages: 72
- Document Number: WR-761
- Year: 2011
- Series: Working Papers
This research was conducted in RAND Health, a division of the RAND Corporation.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation working paper series. RAND working papers are intended to share researchers' latest findings and to solicit informal peer review. They have been approved for circulation by RAND but may not have been formally edited or peer reviewed.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.