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Sex in Media, Effects on Society

  • By: Gert Martin Hald
  • In: Encyclopedia of Media Violence
  • Edited by: Matthew S. Eastin
  • Subject:Mass Communication, Aggression & Violence, Violence & Society

Effects of sex in the media have been studied from many different vantage points and at many different levels. These include the ways sex in the media may affect individuals, interpersonal relationships, and larger societal structures, ideologies, and laws. At individual and societal levels, research on effects of sex in the media has focused predominantly on cognitions (e.g., perceptual, memory, and information-processing systems underlying maladaptive attitudes and behaviors, knowledge about sex, and sexual relations), attitudes (e.g., sexist attitudes, attitudes supporting violence, and sexually permissive attitudes), and behaviors (e.g., manifest sexual behaviors, sexually aggressive or sexually violent behaviors) using a variety of research designs and methodologies.

Research on effects of sex in the media has often been divided into two categories. The first category concerns sex ...

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