Stacey J.T. Hust Publications



Boys Will Be Boys and Girls Better Be Prepared: An Analysis of the Rare Sexual Health Messages in Young Adolescents' Media


Despite concerns about high rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease in the United States, the mass media adolescents attend to most frequently include little accurate information about sexual health. In this study, a preliminary quantitative analysis of the sexual content in four media (television, magazines, music, and movies) popular among 3,261 Black and White adolescents (12–14 years old) found that less than one half of 1% of the content included information about or depictions of sexually healthy behavior. A qualitative analysis of the relatively rare instances of sexual health content revealed that across all four media the sexual health content was ambiguous and/or inaccurate, reinforced traditional gender stereotypes that males seek sex and females are responsible for protection against pregnancy, and presented puberty as funny and contraception as embarrassing or humiliating. These analyses suggest that significant changes in the media's presentations of sexuality would be required if the media are ever to be considered a healthy part of adolescents' sexual socialization.

Hust, S. J., Brown, J. D., & L'Engle, K. L. (2008). Boys will be boys and girls better be prepared: An analysis of the rare sexual health messages in young adolescents' media. Mass communication & society11(1), 3-23.


Establishing and Adhering to Sexual Consent: The Association between Reading Magazines and College Students’ Sexual Consent Negotiation


Content analyses have cataloged the sexual scripts present in magazines largely because of their perceived value to readers and their potential role as sex educators. Although it is generally agreed that magazines have the potential to influence sexual attitudes and behavioral intentions, the effects of this medium are not as frequently researched as are other forms of media. The current study tested whether exposure to magazines was associated with intentions related to sexual consent negotiation. A survey of 313 college students indicated that exposure to men's magazines was significantly associated with lower intentions to seek sexual consent and lower intentions to adhere to decisions about sexual consent. In contrast, exposure to women's magazines was significantly associated with greater intentions to refuse unwanted sexual activity. Overall, the findings of this study further reinforce the critical need for responsible and realistic portrayals of sex in entertainment media, specifically magazines.

Hust, S. J., Marett, E. G., Ren, C., Adams, P. M., Willoughby, J. F., Lei, M., ... & Norman, C. (2014). Establishing and adhering to sexual consent: The association between reading magazines and college students’ sexual consent negotiation. The Journal of Sex Research51(3), 280-290.



Health Promotion Messages in Entertainment Media: Crime Drama Viewership and Intentions to Intervene in a Sexual Assault Situation


Popular crime dramas have tackled sensitive issues such as sexual assault with increasing frequency over the past 20 years. These popular programs increasingly demonstrate the emotional and physical effect of sexual assault on its victims, and in some instances they depict individuals being rewarded for intervening to prevent or stop an assault in progress. It is possible that this content could affect attitudes related to sexual assault prevention. However, no previous research has examined this possibility. In the fall 2008 semester, 508 undergraduates at a large northwestern university completed a questionnaire about media use and bystander intervention in a sexual assault situation. Results from hierarchical regressions lend support for the integrative model of behavioral prediction in that instrumentality, rape myth acceptance, perceived social norms, perceived efficacy related to intervening, and exposure to prime time crime dramas were associated with participants' intentions to intervene in a sexual assault. The results suggest that crime dramas may be a useful venue for prevention messages as exposure to crime dramas uniquely contributed to intentions to intervene in a sexual assault.

Hust, S. J., Marett, E. G., Lei, M., Chang, H., Ren, C., McNab, A. L., & Adams, P. M. (2013). Health promotion messages in entertainment media: Crime drama viewership and intentions to intervene in a sexual assault situation. Journal of health communication18(1), 105-123.

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