Technology and sex: How they affect new generations?

By: Emma Alías Enrech

Teeneagers are an specific group of the population that is especially vulnerable when developing harmful conducts related to the use of internet and new technologies. During this age they are not fully aware of the dangers that new technologies have and they have the feeling of a false sensation of invulnerability. Teens have the need to socialize and at the same time have the need for having their privacy.

Looking back at the past couple of years, with new technologies being developed and the progress that society has been going through, a change in the way of behaving and communicating has erupted. Sex, which has been considered a taboo topic for a long time, has slowly been introduced and normalized in our life. But the question is, to what extent does this affect our society, especially the young generation?

Sexuality has always been part of our lives and is going through a transformation because it is receiving influences from technology. One of the outlets that has had enormous impact in the exposure of sexual content is television.

The issue that many people, especially parents, have towards the screening of sexual scenes or content on TV is not mainly the content itself, it is the fact that it is not shown in a protected way. Analysis carried out by the psychologist Deborah Fisher show that 82.1% of episodes coded contained sexual content. Compared to that number, only 2.9% of episodes with sex contained messages about sexual patience and 5.2% had messages about taking sexual precautions. The problem with this is not only the disinformation portrayed on the television but also the fact that many teenagers believe these skewed views of sexuality that they watch. A national survey, carried out by Drs. Hoff T, Greene L, Davis J, showed that 70% of media consumers between the ages of 15 to 17 think that they have learned “a lot” or “some” about relationships and sexual health issues from the media.

This exposement has not only been shown through television, but from other media devices as well. A survey done by the National Institute of Statistics of Spain, shows that 91.3% of minors between the ages of 10 and 15 have used a computer and 92.8 % have used the internet in the past three months. In contrast to this, 69.8 of this minors are in control of their own phone.

Internet, TV series, and movies are the main platforms in which this content is seen by teens. A consequence of being exposed to this sexuality at a younger age has potentially caused the age in which people lose their virginity to decrease. Going from the baby boomers (those born between WWII and the early 60’s) who averaged 17. 6 years old, to generation X (born between the 60’s and the early 80’s) with 18.1, Millennials (born between 1980 to 2000) who averaged 17.4, to the current generation Z that averages 16.2.

The accessibility of new technologies to young generations has put a risk to their intimacy, leaving personal data unprotected. Technology has given teenagers an excessive amount of information, in most cases this information being incorrect. Leading not to just the disinformation related to sex, but also to bullying, racism, homophobia, etc. It is important to take into account that new technologies have opened a new route for sexual abuse that is linked to the disinformation mentioned above and the excess of confidence when using new technologies.

After reading through all of this information we wanted to give you our own take on this issue. We went to the streets of Madrid and asked parents and teenagers whether or not they think media has changed the way sex is seen. We also wanted to ask a controversial question, which has been talked above, but is still taboo on the streets: do you really think teenagers lose their virginity younger now than other generation have in the past?

We asked 20 people from the ages of 15 to 50. Approximately 75% of the interviewees agreed in both the statement that: the media has changed the way sex is seen and that people lose their virginity earlier nowadays. The surprising fact was that the remaining 25% was divided into, those who did not want to answer and those who answered and thought that the statements mentioned above were false. 17% where those who stated that the questions was false, they thought that there has not been a change in the way sex is seen and that younger generations do not have sex in earlier stages of their lives. Shockingly, most of the people who answered by denying the statements or by not answering at all were teenagers. It was also astonishing how either both statements were true or they were false, but there were never combined answers.

New technologies and media are changing the way we see things and sex is just one aspect of our lives that has been drastically evolving in this change.

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