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Sex and print media: the level of exposure of Filipino youth to sensual print media in relation to their attitude toward sex

Bernarte Racidon P., Bartolata Kristine E., Laureta Claudine Marie Angelica O.
Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines

Field: Sociology
Title: Sex and print media: the level of exposure of Filipino youth to sensual print media in relation to their attitude toward sex
Paper Type: Research Paper
City, Country: Manila, Philippines
Authors: R. Bernarte, K. Bartolata, C. Laureta
Exposure
Sensual
Print Media
Attitude
Sex
Filipino Youth

This study aims to determine the correlation between the level of exposure of Filipino youth to sensual print media and their attitude toward sex. The Filipino youth participated in this study were male college students randomly selected from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines with the age range of 15 years old and above. The researchers applied the Uses and Gratifications Approach by Blumler et. al. for the theoretical framework and a survey of data-gathering in aid for the objectives of this study. Result shows that as the level of exposure of Filipino youth to sensual print media increases, their attitude toward sex also increases. Based on the findings of this study researchers conclude that single PUP male college students read sensual print media in order to gain knowledge about sex. They also resort to it for the gratification of their sexual needs given that they do not have a sexual partner. In addition to this, sensual print media, specifically books, magazines, and tabloids are chiefly available in urban areas compared to rural ones. Additionally, the researchers conclude that PUP male college students are less exposed to sensual print media because of the existence of modern media like the internet that offers easier access and more convenient viewership of sensual materials. The researchers also conclude that, aside from being entertaining, the contents of sensual print media nowadays are also informative that is why readers resort to it in order to gain awareness and convene their curiosity about sex. Furthermore, it has been concluded with the support of a review by World Health Organization, that Filipino youth are still conservative about sex as compared to the developed countries around the world and other regions in Asia. Lastly, the researchers conclude that as the level of exposure of PUP male college students to sensual print media increases, their attitude towards sex also increases.

References

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1. Introduction

One of the many things that media can provide us is entertainment because; it gives people an alternative setting to release their emotion, to escape boredom and divert their attention away from their problems.
At the present generation, people most especially the youth; get constant exposure to media, making them aware of the things that need elders’ consent. The best example of this is “sex,” a topic that youth get curious about. According to Huston, et. al. (1998), “Sex is a biologically given facet of human nature. Sexual sensations and behavior are normal throughout life, and they have the potential for both positive and negative psychological and physical consequences. (p.5)”
This study focuses on print media because it is the most traditional form and some types of it like books, magazines and tabloids frequently contain sensual stories or anything that directly or indirectly depicts sex. The researchers chose male respondents for this study because according to Harris and Barlett (2009), frequently, the materials that contain explicit sexual content like sensual stories are made by men for men.
The male respondents were college students from PUP because according to Chia (2009), “the youth of the present generation continuously learn about sex throughout their adolescence through media. (p. 1)” Furthermore, books, magazines, and tabloids are the types of print media that are mostly available for people across all socio-economic classes. These types can attend to the needs of PUP male college students considering its availability, affordability, and portability.

2. Framework

This study aimed to determine the relationship between Polytechnic University of the Philippines male college students’ exposure to sensual print media and their attitude about sex.
A theory concerned with the identification of how individuals use the media to satisfy their needs is the Uses and Gratifications founded by Jay G. Blumler, Elihu Katz, and Michael Gurevitch. This study took into account the utilization of Uses and Gratifications Approach among male college students who are exposed to sensual print media. Thus, the researchers hypothesize that there is no significant relationship between PUP male college students’ level of exposure to sensual print media and their attitude toward sex.
Katz, E.et. al. (1974) observed that the media partially address gratification to individual needs. The Uses and Gratifications approach shifts the emphasis of communication research from answering the question, “What do the media do to people?” to, “What active audience members do to media?” Therefore, this study aimed to postulate the intention of male college students in reading sensual print media in relation to their attitude toward sex and identifying the needs that they tend to gratify whenever they resort to reading sensual print media.

3. Objectives

This study focused on Polytechnic University of the Philippines male college students’ exposure to sensual print media in relation to their attitude toward sex with the following objectives: (1) to determine the demographic profile of male college students in terms of name, which is optional, age, nationality, civil status, sexual orientation, department/year/section, residential address. (2) To measure the level of exposure of PUP male college students to sensual print media. (3) To know the reasons for PUP male college students in reading sensual print media. (4) To determine the attitude of PUP male college students toward sex and, (5) to identify the relation of PUP male college students’ level of exposure to sensual print media and their attitude toward sex.

4. Results and discussion

Table 1. PUP male college students’ readership standing to sensual print media

Respondents’ readership standing to sensual print media Frequency Percentage (%)
Yes 303 75.8
No 97 24.3
Overall: 400 100.0

Table 1 shows the frequency and percentage distribution of PUP male college students as to whether they do read sensual print media or not. This is the most critical part of the study as the researchers will be able to determine if there is still a sturdy exposure to sensual print media among PUP male college students despite the boom in new technologies.

The data shows that out of 400 PUP male college students, 303 or 75.8% answered that they do read sensual print media while 97 or 24% said that they do not. According to Lubove (2005), the youth becomes subjected to search for something sexually exciting. Despite the fast approach of technological development, six out of eight PUP male college students are still reading sensual print media, which contain sensual stories or anything that directly or indirectly, depicts sex while.

Table 2. Level of exposure of PUP male college students to sensual print media

Level of exposure to sensual print media Weighted mean Verbal interpretation
Sensual Books 2.09 Less Exposed
Sensual Magazines 2.32 Less Exposed
Sensual Tabloids 1.85 Less Exposed
Overall: 2.09 Less Exposed

Legend: WM-Weighted Mean; VI-Verbal Interpretation; NE-Not Exposed (1.00-1.50), LE-Less Exposed (1.51-2.50), ME-Moderately Exposed (2.51-3.50), HE-Highly Exposed (3.51-4.00)

Table 2 shows the measures of the level of exposure of PUP male college students to sensual print media, particularly sensual books, magazines, and tabloids.

The data shows that PUP male college students have a Less Exposure to sensual books, with the total weighted mean score 2.09; Less Exposure to sensual magazines, with the total weighted mean score 2.32; and also Less Exposure to sensual tabloids, with the total weighted mean score 1.85.

Overall, the result shows that PUP male college students are less exposed to sensual print media, with the grand weighted mean score of 2.09.

Table 3. PUP male college students’ primary source of knowledge on sensual print media

Primary source of knowledgeon sensual print media Frequency Percentage (%)
TV advertisements 22 7.3
Radio advertisements 4 1.3
Print advertisements (billboards, posters or brochures) 20 6.6
Online advertisements 56 18.5
Book stores 20 6.6
Convenience stores 11 3.6
Street vendors 20 6.6
Shared by friends 134 44.2
Shared by siblings 4 1.3
Others 12 4.0
Overall: 303 100.0

 

Table 3 shows the frequency and percentage distribution on how PUP male college students first knew about sensual print media.

The result shows that the greatest number of PUP male college students acquired their primary source of knowledge about sensual print media through their friends. Their knowledge about it was shared and introduced by their friends.Thus, they were able to resort to reading it.

Table 4. Frequency of reading sensual print media (Books)

Frequency of reading sensual books Frequency Percentage (%)
Everyday 18 5.9
Twice or thrice a week 23 7.6
Once a week 38 12.5
Once a month 112 37
Others 112 37
Overall: 303 100

 

Table 4 shows the frequency and percentage distribution of PUP male college students’ rate of reading sensual books. It pertains to their chosen manner of time upon reading sensual book.

The result shows that the greatest number of PUP male college students read sensual books once a month. As shown above, they even gave specific answers as to when they can read books containing sensual stories.

 

Table 5. Frequency of reading sensual print media (Magazines)

Frequency of reading sensual magazines Frequency Percentage (%)
Everyday 10 3.3
Twice or thrice a week 19 6.3
Once a week 36 11.9
Once a month 126 41.6
Others 112 37
Overall: 303 100

 

Table 5 shows the frequency and percentage distribution of PUP male college students’ rate of reading sensual magazines. It concerns their chosen manner of time upon reading sensual magazines.

According to Maderazo (2010), the youth are flooded with pre-marital sex through television, movies, billboards with nude models, filthy magazines, etc. every day. As shown above, the greatest number of PUP male college students read sensual magazine once a month.

Table 6. Frequency of reading sensual print media (Tabloids)

Frequency of reading sensual tabloids Frequency Percentage (%)
Everyday 10 3.3
Twice or thrice a week 9 3.0
Once a week 25 8.3
Once a month 115 38.0
Others 144 47.5
Overall: 303 100

 

Table 6 shows the frequency and percentage distribution of PUP male college students’ rate of reading sensual tabloids. It is about their chosen manner of time upon reading sensual tabloid.

Research also shows that on several days, a teenager is introduced to over 200 cable television networks, 5,500 magazines, 10,500 radio stations, over 30 million websites, and over 122,000 recently published books.

 

Table 7. Reasons for PUP male college students in reading sensual print media

Reasons for reading sensual print media Frequency Percentage (%)
Curiosity about sex 163 53.8
To gain awareness on sex 172 56.8
For leisure, fun or entertainment 138 45.5
To explore and get new ideas about sex 112 37.0
To trigger pleasure or sexual excitement upon fulfilling one’s sexual fantasy 91 30.0
Others 16 5.3
Overall: 303 100.0

 

Table 7 shows the frequency and percentage distribution on the reasons for the PUP male college students for reading sensual print media.

The result shows one-half of PUP male college students’ population is reading books, magazines, and tabloids because they want to be aware of sex. Lubove (2005), concluded in a survey that the youth begin looking for pornographic materials to a certain age where curiosity about sex occurs. According to Harris and Barlett (2009), individuals learn about sex from various sources such as parents, schools, friends, siblings and media outlets throughout childhood and adolescence (p. 1).

Table 8. PUP male college students’ attitude toward sex

Attitudinal statements Weighted mean Verbal interpretations
1. I become more knowledgeable about sex as I read sensual print media. 3.14 AGREE
2. I understand how sex is beneficial as I read sensual print media. 2.93 AGREE
3. I get familiarized with different sexual practices when reading sensual print media. 2.92 AGREE
4. I get easily aroused when I read sensual print media. 2.51 DISAGREE
5. I get to fulfill my sexual fantasies when reading sensual print media. 2.40 DISAGREE
6. I feel a strong desire of having sex as I read sensual print media. 2.22 DISAGREE
7. I imagine myself as the one acting out the sexual scenes contained in the sensual print media. 2.21 DISAGREE
8. I become more aggressive to my sexual partner as I read sensual print media. 1.99 DISAGREE
9. I tend to imitate the physical features of the characters for me to be more sexually attractive upon reading sensual print media. 2.22 DISAGREE
10. I feel sexually experienced when reading sensual print media even though I have no sexual encounter yet. 2.27 DISAGREE
11. I make up the characteristics of my ideal sexual partner as I read sensual print media. 2.34 DISAGREE
12. I reach orgasm just by reading sensual print media. 1.96 DISAGREE
13.   I want to explore and have sexual experience with another man upon reading sensual print media. 1.57 DISAGREE
14. I become addicted to sex and want to practice it casually with anybody as I read sensual print media. 1.73 DISAGREE
15. I become more liberated about sex when reading sensual print media and openly discuss it with peers. 2.52 AGREE
Overall: 2.33 DISAGREE

 

Table 8 presents the attitudes of PUP male college students toward sex. The attitudinal statements shown in the table are together with its computed weighted mean and verbal interpretation.

The first statement demonstrates that the PUP male college students AGREE that they tend to become more knowledgeable about sex as they read sensual print media, with the total weighted mean score of 3.14.

The data reveals that PUP male college students acquire more knowledge about sex when they read sensual print media. It is agreeable to the statement of Chia (2006) that the youth of the present generation learns about sex during their adolescence and early adulthood through media being the primary source of information. The knowledge of PUP male college students toward sex gradually grows as they expose themselves to different books, magazines and tabloids with sensual stories.

The second statement shows that PUP male college students AGREE that they understand how sex is beneficial as they read sensual print media, with the total weighted mean score of 2.93.

In an article, Chua (2014) said that sex has benefits on every human being. Uncommon to the knowledge of many, sex promotes various health benefits for humans in terms of physical and emotional matters. Likewise, PUP male college students tend to understand the advantages of sex when they read sensual books, magazines, and tabloids.

The third statement reveals that PUP male college students AGREE in majority as they get familiarized with different sexual practices when reading sensual print media, with the total weighted mean score of 2.92.

The data supports the idea of Ross (2012) that the early exposure of children to different sexual content has a significant impact on their values and attitudes toward sex and relationships.

The fourth statement shows that PUP male college students DISAGREE that they get easily aroused when they read sensual print media, with the total weighted mean score of 2.51.

According to Struthers (2011), the male brain appears to be developed in a way that visual cues that have sexual significance (e.g., the naked female form, solicitous facial expressions) have a hypnotic result. It discusses the usual response of humans, mainly male when involving sex, which we call the arousal. However, PUP male college students disagree that they get easily aroused when they read sensual books, magazines, and tabloids.

The fifth statement shows that PUP male college students DISAGREE that they get to fulfill their sexual fantasies when reading sensual print media, with the total weighted mean score of 2.40.

Struthers (2011) deemed that the uncomplicated right to use, assortment of picture, and the strong sensory foundation of media leave beyond the power of mental imagery and fantasy. However, the result reveals that the PUP male college students disagree that they can fulfill their sexual fantasies whenever they read sensual print media.

The sixth statement shows that PUP male college students DISAGREE that they feel a strong desire of having sex as they read sensual print media, with the total weighted mean score of 2.22.

According to Baumaester, et.al., (2001) Sex drive can be conceived as a natural desire that motivate individuals to search for and become interested in sexual practice and satisfaction. The result shows that PUP male college students disagree that they feel a strong desire or the drive of having sex just by reading sensual print media.

The seventh statement shows that PUP male college students DISAGREE that they imagine themselves as the one acting out the sexual scenes contained in the sensual print media, with the total weighted mean score of 2.21.

DiZazzo (2004) stated that, “Telling-oriented concepts, then, are based on precise word choices intended to stimulate the reader’s imagination. However, the result shows that PUP male college students do not imagine themselves as the one acting out the sensual scenes contained in books, magazines and tabloids with sensual stories.

The eight statement shows that PUP male college students DISAGREE that they become more aggressive to their sexual partner as they read sensual print media, with the total weighted mean score of 1.99.

Anderson (2002) said that aggression includes individual’s intention to harm another person. In reality, there are people who become aggressive when it comes to sex, but PUP male college students disagree that they tend to become more aggressive with their sexual partner when they read sensual print media.

The ninth statement shows that PUP male college students DISAGREE that they tend to imitate the physical features of the characters to be more sexually attractive upon reading sensual print media, with the total weighted mean score of 2.22.

According to Villareal, Many young people would like to have a particular “image” and will obtain extreme measures to gain it (pg. 2). At this point of teens’ life, they become very conscious of how they appear and how others perceive them, and they tend to idolize and even imitate popular people especially those who are indeed attractive. However, the result shows that PUP male college students disagree that they tend to imitate the physical features of the characters for them to be more sexually attractive as reading sensual print media.

The tenth statement shows that PUP male college students DISAGREE that they feel sexually experienced when reading sensual print media even though they have no sexual encounter yet, with the total weighted mean score of 2.27.

Merriam-Webster (2014) defined sex as a physical activity in which people touch each other’s bodies, kiss each other: physical activity that is related to and often includes sexual intercourse. On the other hand, the result shows that PUP male college students disagree that they feel sexually experienced when reading sensual print especially if they do not have any sexual encounter yet.

The eleventh statement shows that PUP male college students DISAGREE that they make up the characteristics of their ideal sexual partner as they read sensual print media, with the total weighted mean score of 2.34.

According to Struthers (2011), people can create, provide and gratify their sensual nature by seeing whatever they want, whenever they want, and however they want. However, the table shows that PUP male college students disagree that they can make up the characteristics of their ideal sexual partners as they read sensual print media.

The twelfth statement shows that PUP male college students DISAGREE that they reach orgasm just by reading sensual print media, with the total weighted mean score of 1.96.

Orgasm is a phase that feels like animated suspension, where people’s mind and body both go off-grid. It is sexual activity per se that has a magical quality of bringing into that moment (Voo, 2013). Similarly to what PUP male college students deemed about, they do not reach their orgasm just by reading sensual print media.

The thirteenth statement shows that PUP male college students DISAGREE that they want to explore and have sexual experience with another man upon reading sensual print media, with the total weighted mean score of 1.57.

Better Health Channel presented that young people can experience many new feelings, which can sometimes be puzzling. Some young people find they are fascinated by someone of the same sex.” On the other hand, the table shows that PUP male college students disagree about wanting to explore and have sexual experience with another man as they reading sensual print media.

The fourteenth statement shows that PUP male college students DISAGREE that they become addicted to sex and want to practice it casually with anybody as they read sensual print media, with the total weighted mean score of 1.73.

Malenka, et. al. (2009) deemed that sexual addiction also known as sexual dependence is habitual contribution or engagement in sexual doings, despite adverse outcome. Furthermore, some people become addicted to sex, and they tend to involve themselves in casual sexual encounters. On the other hand, the result shows that PUP male college students disagree about becoming addicted to sex and want to practice it casually with anybody as they read sensual print media.

The fifteenth statement shows that PUP male college students AGREE that they become more liberated about sex when reading sensual print media and openly discuss it with peers, with the total weighted mean score of 2.57.

According to McFarlane (2010), our existence would perhaps be worthless without the capability to communicate since it is through communication that we comprehend self and others and can explain our purpose, feelings, and view of the world. In connection with this, the table shows that PUP male college students agree about becoming more liberated regarding sex when reading sensual print media. Admittedly, they tend to discuss sexual topics with peers openly.

Overall, the verbal interpretation of Table 17 is DISAGREE, with the grand weighted mean of 2.33. This shows that, in general, PUP male college students do not agree with the attitudes mentioned above toward sex.

In a literary review of World Health Organization Western Pacific Region withing 1995-2003, Raymundo (2002) reported a UPPI (University of the Philippines Population Institute) press statement recognizing that Filipinos are still conservative when it comes to sex as compared to the developed countries around the globe and some regions in Asia. This remark is parallel to the overall result of PUP male college students about their attitude toward sex with the verbal interpretation falling under the “Disagree” category of the four graded Likert scale. It means that, generally, PUP male college students agreed that they read sensual print media in order to gain knowledge about sex.However, they disagreed on exploring more of sex to the extent of having sexual experience with another man.

Table 9. Spearman rho Correlation: Test for a significant relationship between PUP male college students’ level of exposure to sensual print media and their attitude toward sex

Level of Exposure to Sensual Print Media Attitude Toward Sex
Spearman rho Correlation P-value (Sig.) Decision Conclusion
Level of Exposure to Books 0.219 .000 Reject Ho Significant: Positively Weak Correlation
Level of Exposure to Magazines 0.382 .000 Reject Ho Significant: Positively Moderate Correlation
Level of Exposure to Tabloids 0.376 .000 Reject Ho Significant: Positively Moderate Correlation
 Null Hypothesis (Ho): There is no significant relationship between PUP male college students’ level of exposure to sensual print media and their attitude toward sex.
*Significant at 0.05 level

 

Table 9 presents the Spearman rho Correlation, which determines whether the significant relationship exists between PUP male college students’ level of exposure to sensual print media and their attitude toward sex. If the computed P-value is less than or equal to the degree of significance (α = 0.05), the null hypothesis (Ho) that there is no significant relationship between the variables will be rejected. It can be observed from the table that P-values for all the variables “Level of Exposure to Books, Magazines and Tabloids” = 0.000 are less than the standard of significance (0.05). Thus, the researchers reject the null hypothesis (Ho) and conclude that there is a significant relationship between the PUP male college students’ level of exposure to sensual print media and their attitude toward sex.

According to Katz, E. et. al. (1974) the option which people make are stimulated by a yearning to satisfy (or gratify) a range of needs. This denotes that the consumption of media by the people influences their decision making in many ways. Furthermore, Struthers (2011) stated that people can see whatever they want, whenever they want, and however they want. By doing so, they can generate, serve and satisfy their sensual nature. Therefore, the result of this study shows that as the level of exposure of PUP male college students to sensual print media increases their attitude towards sex also increases. (See Appendices for diagrams)

The researchers recommend having further study and evaluation in other types of sensual print media given focused on this study. Specifically, they can establish deeper research on sexual books alone or sensual magazines and sensual tabloids.

 5. Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study researchers conclude that single PUP male college students read sensual print media in order to gain knowledge about sex. They also resort to it for the gratification of their sexual needs given that they do not have a sexual partner. In addition to this, sensual print media, specifically books, magazines, and tabloids are chiefly available in urban areas compared to rural ones.

Additionally, the researchers conclude that PUP male college students are less exposed to sensual print media because of the existence of modern media like the internet that offers easier access and more convenient viewership of sensual materials.

The researchers also conclude that, aside from being entertaining, the contents of sensual print media nowadays are also informative that is why readers resort to it in order to gain awareness and convene their curiosity about sex.

Furthermore, it has been concluded with the support of a review by World Health Organization, that Filipino youth are still conservative about sex as compared to the developed countries around the world and other regions in Asia.

Lastly, the researchers conclude that as the level of exposure of PUP male college students to sensual print media increases, their attitude towards sex also increases.

 

References

1. Aiken, L. (1998). Human Development in Adulthood. Plenum Press, New York.
2. American Psychological Association. (2008). Answers to your questions: For a better Understanding of sexual orientation and homosexuality.Washington, DC: Author
3. Anderson, et. al., (2002). Human aggression. Annual Review of Psychology. 53 (1) 27-51
4. Baumeister, R. F., et. al. (2001). “Is there a Gender Difference in Strength of Sex Drive?“ Theoretical Views, Conceptual Distinctions and a Review of Relevant Evidence.” Personality and Social Psychology Review 5 (3): 242
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