Earlier we mentioned the number of hours that teenagers watch television. Although most watch 3 hours per day, during a typical school day, teenagers spend 4 hours and 41 minutes in front of a screen of some type (TV Turnoff Network, 2005). By the time to­day’s youths are 70 years old, they will have spent about 7 years of their lives watching television! Television viewing begins early: 2- to 5-year-olds spend almost 28 hours a week watching television and teenagers about 22 hours. Every year the typical American youth spends approximately 900 hours in front of the television, and 1,023 hours in school (TV Turnoff Network, 2005).

SEX in Real life

he face of media is quickly changing all around us. Today we can hear music from devices smaller than our finger and Internet through our cell phones. Newer cars have optional built-in television moni­tors on seat backs, and today’s cell phones download e­mails and take digital pictures. Today’s adolescents spend an average of 61/2 hours per day using media, including televi­sion, movies, Internet, video, cell phones, iPods, MP3 play­ers, GameCubes, and PlayStations (Rideout et al., 2005). What is the effect of all this media on the lives of young people today?

In 2005, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation released Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8-18-Year-Olds, the re­sults of a study that included responses to anonymous ques­tionnaires from over 2,000 8- to 18-year-olds. In addition, 700 adolescents were asked to keep private journals detail­ing their use of various media. Thirty-nine percent of ado­lescents were found to have their own cell phone, and 55% owned their own video game player. Following are other in­teresting findings from this important study. On average, adolescents between the ages of 8 to 18 were found to:

• Watch 4 hours of television each day

• Listen to 13/4 hours of music each day

• Use the computer for recreational use 1 hour each day

• Play video games for 50 minutes per day

• Read recreational material for 43 minutes a day

In the average home in America, 80% get cable or satellite and 55% of these also get premium cable chan­nels, such as HBO. What is interesting, however, is the num­ber of adolescents who have access to this material in their bedrooms. Fifty-three percent of 8- to 18-year-olds report