Boys, Sex & Media

Helping Boys Make Smart Decisions about Sex in a Culture Dominated by Stereotypes and Sexism

Book Cover: Boys, Sex & Media
Editions:Paperback: $ 8.99
ISBN: 978-0991843503
Pages: 200
ePub: $ 6.99
ISBN: 978-0-9918435-1-0
Pages: 230
Kindle: $ 5.32
ISBN: 978-0-9918435-1-0
Pages: 230

Boys, Sex & Media gives parents the tools they need to help their sons make sense of the unhealthy sexual imagery that dominates airwaves and computer screens today, from X-rated films to the everyday media adolescent boys see, including music videos, graphic novels, sports magazines, and advertising for mundane products like burgers and beer. Boys, Sex & Media looks at the impact of stereotyped depictions of gender and sexuality on boys’ sexual development, and considers the influence of peers and parents as filters of media messages.

Comprehensive and exhaustively researched, Boys, Sex & Media covers pornography, boys’ sexual health, consent, sexual aggression by and toward boys, body image, and the pressures boys feel to prove their masculinity through sexual experience. It concludes with a discussion of the importance of parental communication and media literacy, tips for talking with boys about sexualized media, and a list of additional resources.

Publisher: Crystal Smith

“In our culture, sex is becoming more and more visible, and more explicit.” ~ Feona Attwood

It is hard to argue with this statement by Feona Attwood, a media and communications professor who studies sex in contemporary culture. The adjectives “explicit” and “visible” were well chosen: together they provide a very accurate summary of the current, sexualized state of our media and wider culture.

Greater openness about sexuality is not necessarily a bad thing. Positive, age-appropriate sexual materials, delivered in the right context, are especially good for teens trying to make sense of their emerging sexuality. Unfortunately, with producers and celebrities increasingly relying on twerk-and-grind imagery and excessive displays of skin to attract attention, much of the sexual content in today’s popular culture is both negative in tone and inappropriate for the ever younger audiences that encounter it.


It is not just the visibility and explicit nature of sexual content that is of concern, but also the implicit messages this content delivers about sex and sexual roles. Pop culture depictions of sexuality are dominated by stereotyped views of gender, traditional notions of male-female sexual relationships (known in academic circles as the heterosexual script), and sexual objectification of women. These three elements pervade the media aimed at adolescents and perpetuate some very harmful ideas about male and female sexuality.