Ugandan adolescents’ sources, interpretation and evaluation of sexual content in entertainment media programming
Miller, Ann Neville
Chibita, Monica B.
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Although mounting evidence in Western nations indicates that entertainment media influence young people’s sexual socialisation, virtually no research has addressed the topic in sub-Saharan Africa. The present study employed 14 focus groups of Ugandan high school students to identify media through which they were exposed to sexual content, how they interpreted and evaluated that content, and how they compared its influence with that of parents, schools and religious institutions. Participants most often mentioned TV, followed by print media and Internet as sources of sexual material. Media were said to present discrepant messages regarding the timing of sexual debut, with international programming urging early sexual debut and local programming described as urging young people to delay sex. Young people spoke of turning to ssengas and kojjas for sexual advice, and a number of boys suggested pornography could also be educational. Both local and international programming was interpreted as conveying views of men as sex driven and women as submissive in sex and relationships. Participants expressed the belief that sexual media content had a negative impact on young people. Most nevertheless assessed these messages as more influential than other sources of sexual socialisation.
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