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Scripting Adolescent Romance

Adolescents Talk about Romantic Relationships and Media’s Sexual Scripts

Series:

Stacey J.T. Hust and Kathleen Boyce Rodgers

Adolescents and emerging adults today spend an estimated seven hours daily attending to media. The media teens attend to commonly present relationships between men and women as a "game" or "competition" in which women seduce through their physical appearance and the masculinity of men is defined through sexual conquest. A growing body of research suggests that viewing this sexualized media may contribute to adolescents’ and emerging adults’ understanding of and behaviors around romantic and sexual relationships. Using social cognitive theory of gender development, scripting theory, and heterosexual script theory as a framework, Scripting Adolescent Romance presents methods and analyses of data from in-depth interviews with 16 high school and young college students, and focus groups with over 100 individuals in this age group. Findings provide a rarely seen view inside youths’ private spaces—their bedrooms and their social media spaces. In often highly-personal conversations, youth provide in-depth information about how they understand and navigate virginity, romantic relationships, sexual situations, and interpersonal violence. Their discussions of "Netflix and chill," Facebook stalking, and the scorecard script illuminate aspects of romance and sex that may be uniquely characteristic of today’s young people. This book is a must-read for parents of adolescents, and promises to be an enjoyable, insightful text for classes about media effects, adolescent development, gender roles, and sexual health.

List of Tables and Figures – Acknowledgments – Introduction and Background – Youths’ Personal Spaces – Gender, Femininity and Masculinity – Virginity: Abstinence and Urgency – Romantic Relationships: Navigation and Expectation – Sexual Activity, the Sexual Double Standard, and the Scorecard Script – Rape Myths, Sexual Coercion, and Dating Violence – Discussion and Implications of Findings – Discussion Questions – Appendix A: Participant Biographies – Appendix B: Mediography – Index.