Social Problems and Popular Culture

Question 2.

In each adult generation, fears of sexuality among teens are reintroduced as a result of emerging forms of media and communication expertise that aide young individuals in avoiding parental control. Sexting is referred to as exchange of sexually suggestive photos or messages through messaging platforms. The reason for sexting among teens is based on the fact that it creates curiosity that results to experimenting and exploration. This may result to emotional trauma as well as compromising reputations in the event that the message does not get to the intended recipient. In a research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, 18% of women that engaged in sexual intercourse before the age of fifteen term the experience as unwanted. A third of the teens indicated that they do not necessarily think of the legal implications attributed to sexting and they find the activity as acceptable in society.

Present teen sexual activity is different because most teens make use of condoms and other contraceptives due to the information they access on social media. In the event of a pregnancy, then an abortion is carried out. It is revealed that most teenagers did not access formal education on contraception in contrast to the teens in the mid-1990s with only less than 10% did not access information on birth control in school Sternheimer (2018). In the 1970s and 1980s, teens were not likely to be sexually active but were experiencing sex at younger ages. Majority of teenagers in the 1980s agreed to have more than one sexual partner.  Reports suggest that an African American male had their first sexual encounter before the age of thirteen. In 2011, 21 % claimed to have engaged in early sexual activity.

Question 4.

Critics charge that popular culture makes people obese especially television and advertisements on food products that are attributed to the increasing cases of child obesity and rare cases of adult obesity. The number of children for those aged between two years and eleven years deemed as overweight doubled while the adolescents between twelve and nineteen tripled. Health activists attribute popular culture as the main obstacle. The long term increase in weight in children is as a result of marketing foods that contain low nutrients, high calories that encourages children to have snacks while watching television. Advertising agencies claim that promotion of food products aims at changing preference towards a certain brand and has no effect on the overall demand for a certain product and does not create a desire for fast foods. Apart from that, the agencies state that it is the parents’ responsibility to determine the children’s food intake. Federal Trade Commission study conducted in 2005 indicates that kids view less ads today as compared to the 1970s, when the weight was considerably low.

According to Sternheimer (2010), the connections are more complicated in the sense that adverts on sugary food products to kids doesn’t assist in understanding why adults are likely to be more obese than children. In a study conducted in 2009-2010, 36% of adults were categorized as obese while 17% of two to nineteen year olds were considered as obese. This implies not only are children vulnerable to advertising but also adults. This leads to the population being more vulnerable to serious forms of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Other factors that result to obesity are children in low-income areas are unable to access a safe environment to play. In addition to Work schedules that often give the children little or no supervision.


Sternheimer, K. (2010). Connecting social problems and popular culture. Boulder, CO: Westview.

Sternheimer, K. (2018). Connecting social problems and popular culture: Why media is not the answer. Routledge.



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