This study tests the effects of exposure to sexual television content on emerging adults' sexual attitudes and moral judgments. One hundred and ten college freshmen were randomly assigned to view shows that portrayed either positive or negative consequences of sexual intercourse. Results indicate that exposure to shows that portray negative consequences of sex leads to more negative attitudes toward premarital intercourse and to more negative moral judgments of characters engaged in this behavior. Results were observed immediately after the viewing and persisted 2 weeks later. Findings are discussed in light of social cognitive theory and previous media effects research.
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