Exploring Young Adults’ Perspectives on Sexualized Media: Lessons for Developing Sexual Health and Wellness Literacy
Sexual health and wellness is an important topic in providing health literacy programs for young adults. Given the growing prominence of sexualized media and its consumption by young adults, it is important to understand the impact of such media on their sexual health and wellness. To deepen understanding of this phenomenon, interviews with 20 young adults about their consumption of sexualized media were conducted in order to better understand how the consumption of sexualized media impacted their intimate relationships and self-esteem. The study was informed by feminist approaches to media as well as the author’s professional role and experiences as a sexual health specialist. Following analysis of the data, recommendations for effective pedagogical approaches and best practices for developing critical media literacy programs are offered. The paper concludes with implications for educators who are seeking to engage young people in a manner that is fun and interactive yet equally sensitive and effective.
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