Media programme exposure and adolescent sexual behaviour in South Africa

Nyasha Chadoka-Mutanda, University of the Witwatersrand

While detailed studies exist in developed countries on the effect of media exposure on adolescent sexual behavior little is still known about how exposure to certain media programmes influences sexual behavior among adolescents in developing countries. This study therefore examines the relationship between media programme exposure and adolescent sexual behaviour in South Africa. Data for adolescents aged between 16 and 24 years from the Third National Communications Survey 2012 was utilized in this study. Out of the 3 399 adolescents that were selected 1 477 were males and 1922 were females. The results showed that adolescents are consumers of various types of media and their exposure to such media has potential to negatively or positively affect their sexual behaviour. Therefore interventions should continue aiming at exploiting various types of media to communicate messages that promote protective behaviour taking into consideration the gender differences that exist in terms of viewing preferences.

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Presented in Poster Session 2