Media Production Project – SEX: What Time is the Right Time?

For many kids and parents, it is a question that lingers: is there a right time to begin having sex?

Although there is quite a bit of stigma surrounding the thought of when someone should have their first sexual experience, majority of young people begin having sex in the U.S. well before what is considered to be adulthood. In a psychological study conducted in 2012, there was standards put on participants debuting them to be classified as “early” if their sexual experience began before the age of 15, “normative” if it occurred between 15 and 19 years old, and “late” if it occurs after 19 years of age. The study went through “waves”: Wave I, Wave II, Wave III, and Wave IV. Each wave was conducted at different periods of times for the participants; they were asked about their sexual experiences at each increment of time.

This study arises the question: does the age of when you begin to have sexual experiences complicate later life experiences? To answer this question, a study reported in Developmental Psychology highlighted the pros and cons of having sex at different stages or “waves”.

It is an essential part of a person’s beginning sexual experiences to recognize the potential risks of sexual interactions such as pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. The first encounters a person has can be a point in their lives which establishes what they consider to be normal sexual relations and pairings; research consistently shows that those who are sexually active before the age of 15 are much less likely to use a form of birth control than those who are in the “normative” or “late” groups. It is also documented that those who fall into the early group are also more likely to have a history of emotional issues and substance abuse. However, this study does not determine the correlation between substance abuse and/or emotional problems with sexual debuts. The waves that are recorded are merely snapshots of a person’s life; it does not provide determination for the association between the cross-sectional observances.

In regards to gender, early starter males are more likely to show aggressiveness as well as display antisocial behavior than later starters. While as early starting females are more prone to depression than late starters, and display more shame and guilt than males tend to. Although these are all negative attributions towards having sex early, most males and females tend to view their first-time sex as a positive experience.

Providing such information, what is the positive side of adolescent sex? There is an extended amount of studies that show adult sexuality provides psychological benefits such as stress relief and positive health benefits. Yet, extending these types of studies into the adolescent age group is quite controversial. To take a closer look at the positive and negative features of first-time sex in adolescents, the study published in Developmental Psychology observed a group of 200 tenth-grade students – 100 males and 100 females – for 18 months. These students were selected carefully to best represent the racial and ethnic distribution in the United States.

Those being observed in the study conducted by Rachel Lynn Golden had taken standardized tests which measured individuals drug use, self-worth, and mental health status as well as completing questionnaires about their dating history, sexual behavior, dating satisfaction, and sexual satisfaction. To ensure their honesty as well as more objective viewpoints, the participant’s mother and a close friend chosen by each participant were asked to evaluate their (the participant’s) psychological competence, substance abuse, and romantic appeal. Participants that had still not begun to be sexually active after 18 months were dropped from the analysis, as well as participants who dropped out of the study. In this longitudinal study, researchers had the advantage of analyzing how participants behavior – whether they were considered to be early, normative, or late – all seemed to steady off and disappear in differences following five or six years after high school.

As Golden and her coauthors discuss in her study, it is not clear whether the early introduction to sexual experience during adolescence influences how an individual will develop throughout their life or influence choices they make, such as substance abuse or displaying antisocial behavior.

From this study, results showed that early sexual debuts had tended to be correlated with a higher risk of emotional problems such as depression, antisocial behavior, loneliness, and increased aggression. It also showed association of adolescence being more likely to have a substance abuse problem. However, early sexual interactions also had positive relations such as greater romantic appeal, greater sexual satisfaction (for males), and greater dating satisfaction (for males). Females in this study showed little to no difference in sexual and dating satisfaction among early, normative, and late sexual encounters. It can be theorized that females do not have the same results as males because of the general social beliefs about female sexuality.

A definite result that this study suggests is that adolescents who delay their first sexual experience towards the “normative” or “late” stages tend to make more mature decisions regarding the use of contraception and overall protection. This result highlights the importance of sex education programs; the more information given to adolescence regarding to sex, the better they are equipped to make better decisions in protecting themselves by acknowledging the possible risks of sex. It is important for young people to be equipped with the appropriate knowledge so that they can make their own (informative) decisions when the time comes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media Production Reflection

 

When writing this paper, I found it to be very challenging to rewrite a new summary of the research article. Whenever I was critiquing the article originally, one of the things I seemed to highly criticize about their flaws within their paper was how much information they left out in their summary. However, I seemed to have the same problem. With a word limit put on the research article being published, it is difficult to include all the aspects the original study that was issued. Because of the limitations, it appears that my article and the news article that was published over the research article is very similar in what is believed to be the most important aspects discussed in the study. There was much more data and other analyzed areas within the original research that was left out because of the word limit. This information includes how there was a sibling comparison of first sexual intercourse, the dating involvement being observed, demographics that were in consideration, how individuals were later rated on physical attributes, and the satisfaction rates of relationships, marriage, and overall life based on their first sexual encounters. In a journalist’s perspective, there are more obstacles a person must take under consideration when they are critiquing their published work. It is difficult to include all parts that deem to be important within the original published document in their own because of the limitations that is put on their writing. However, it should be assumed that they are relaying the information out of the research article to their audience that they reason to be the most important.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES:

Harden, P. K. (2012). Psychological Science. True Love Waits? A Sibling-Comparison Study of  Age at First Sexual Intercourse and Romantic Relationships in Young Adulthood. Retrieved May 8, 2017, from http://pss.sagepub.com/content/23/11/1324

Vitelli, R., Ph.D. (2016). Is There a Right Age to Begin Having Sex? Retrieved May 8, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/media-spotlight/201611/is-there-right-age-begin-having-sex.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Week 14: Hoarding

I, personally, am not interested in these types of shows because of how they exploit people’s behavior. Some seem to demonstrate their actions not because they actually have an issue, but because they want the attention of being on television. However, others actually do suffer from a mental illness. I have mixed feelings about these shows because in some aspects, they can be an eye-opener to people but only if they are shown in the appropriate way. The ethnics are essentially there considering the person has to O.K. for them to be shown on television, however, it does raise concern about the effectiveness of their treatment to actually get better since it exploits their disorder on a T.V. show. After watching the TLC clip “Inside Hoarding: Cleaning Up For Love | Hoarding: Buried Alive”, my thoughts and comments still remain the same. It is sad to see a person exploited for whatever struggles they may be going through, especially so because someone from the outside may not understand what is going through that individual’s mind or what issues they may be dealing with. Shows like these exploit individuals and expose them to a lot of ridicule without any chance to acknowledge their side of the story in order to get them actual help.


BBC Milgram Replication

In class we discussed Milgram’s Obedience study, which was conducted in 1963. In Milgram’s study, he had chosen a random volunteer (assigned to be the “teacher”) and then a person that is a part of the experiment (assigned to be the “learner”) that the teacher believes to be another volunteer. The learner was given electrical shocks all the way up to 450V by the teacher if they had answered the question given incorrectly; the teacher believed that this experiment was to test memory. The teacher was in the room with an authoritative figure (scientist conducting the experiment), which had continuously reinforced that “the experiment insists that you must continue” whenever the teacher would have any doubts about the experiment being conducted. ABC’s replication did not allow for the teacher to go all the way up to the max of 450V, claiming that it was too much stress for the teacher to endure. However, BBC’s replication of Milgram’s experiment allowed the participant to go all the way up to 450V. Surprisingly, results did not vary much — BBC had ~75% of their volunteers finish the experiment. Milgram’s original experiment had around 65% go until the very end of 450V. The numbers of volunteers involved does make a difference, however the data was still consistent to say that if someone has another person that they believe is an authoritative figure telling them they must do something they are likely to follow the instructions. It is sadly surprising of the findings within the experiment, yet I am not too shocked because I think that it is difficult for many people to stand up against an authoritative figure.

 

 


Social Psychology: IAT

When taking the Implicit Association Test, or IAT, I chose the test that was under the category of weight. This test was set up to find the ‘preference’ I have towards others; rather, if I feel more compelled to thin people than to fat people. It is typical for people to have a preference towards thin people over fat people. To my knowledge, I do not have a preference of one over the other. This is both applicable to both people in general, friends, and/or significant others. To no surprise, my results came back to say that I had no preference over the other. I think that these types of tests can be helpful towards students working towards their career so that they can see what they may unconsciously be doing towards others. This is a way that could awaken someone to be more aware of their thoughts towards other groups that differ from themselves or who they associate with. However, this test varies in accuracy so it should not be so heavily relied upon for assessment of someone’s true preferences.


Happiness.

https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy#t-221337

 

In Dan Gilbert’s TED Talk, he brought out many different points as to how and why people make their own happiness. He highlights the ideas that can abrupt our happiness, which is mostly our own choices. We are the ultimate ones who are in charge of our own happiness, and must make our own decisions to choose happiness. However, it is difficult to do so when we are given so many options. As Gilbert had talked about in his TED Talk, when we are given an overwhelming amount of options to choose from we tend to sabotage our own happiness by picking an option that, in the end, ends up not being the best one. It was surprising to me whenever he showed his audience that statistically people who win the lottery and paraplegics are rated to have about the same happiness. The studies that he presented were interesting, however I do not know if they were legitimate enough to claim that these people displayed true happiness. I believe that there is a difference between being truly happy and making the best of the situation. Because of this reason, I do not quite agree that his statistical methods to back up his reasoning’s are all that reliable. However, I did enjoy his talk. I thought he brought out interesting points of how we can bring synthetic happiness into our lives by dwindling down our choices and going after the one that will make us the happiest in the long run.


Motivation

Undoubtedly, many Austin College students feel the ups and downs of motivation. As said in the description of this proposed blog, “motivation is not a stable force”. I believe that I inquire much of my motivation in school from the Incentive Theory; whereas, my behavior is motivated by intrinsic or extrinsic rewards. My external award for attending Austin College is getting my degree from here and receiving a good job in the future. My internal award is taking in the satisfaction of all the hard work paid off when receiving my diploma and future job. I chose Austin College because of the endowing opportunities the school gives out later in life, as well as being given the chance to compete in NCAA DIII softball. Some key principals of motivation that are able to be applied to classes would to be to keep in mind the motivations that are provided by our own well-being or state of mind, our external and internal motivators around us; in other words, we need to keep our multitude of motivations in check in order to complete the hierarchy of needs.


Personality Test – Week 10

After taking the four different personality tests, I am able to say that all four were fairly similar in results excluding the second test listed. I feel that the other three were, for the most part, representative of my personality. To my surprise, I think that the color test (the last personality test available) represented my personality well at this point in my life. The opening statement of the personality assessment was capturing because it appeared to read into my thoughts exactly: “[she is] organized and detail-oriented, she has a very precise and methodical manner. She needs relationships which offer her understanding, respect, and approval” (She, referring to me). It assessed parts of my life/personality at this moment fairly clearly. The other personality tests were not as exact as this test, however did give an interesting insight towards my personality traits. I appear to be an extrovert, intuitive, mind over feelings, and consider things in an intellectual way instead of giving in to perception. Each test gave a disclaimer at the beginning of how they may be valid but not reliable, or neither valid nor reliable. It appeared that the second test may have used some sort of constructed validity because at the very beginning it had asked for previous results if the user had already taken a personality test; it is unknown to my behalf if this was used to calculate their own scores or if it was to correlate and compare with other tests besides its own.

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Here are the list of personality tests for others outside of the Psych 101 class to access:


Spotlight Blog 1 – Divorce

The amount of divorces in the United States is becoming more and more common in recent years. There has been many debates as to what the effects are on the children within the divorcee’s relationship. Some researchers and people claim that there is no effect on the children involved in the divorce, while others argue that there is a great impact on them. My viewpoint on the matter is that divorce does impact the children involved in some way, however, how much it impacts them depends on factors such as the child’s age, their relationship with their parents, how the divorce is handled/settled, how the parents later treat each other in the settlement, etc. Most people may view that divorce is overall bad for the child, yet they need to also take in consideration of how the child could perhaps be even more negatively affected by the unhappy/unhealthy relationship their parents have when together and if that relationship were to turn into something more toxic.

In the research article The Effects of Divorce on Children, it was presented that there is vast negative effects on children. The relationships within the family that the child had become broken, their emotional status is deflated into negativity, there is greater resentment towards the parents, their behavior and social skills become hostile, and they typically fall in their educational performances. This research article goes hand-in-hand with the scholarly journal “Social Justice, Spirituality, and Responsibility to Needs: The “Best Interests of the Child” in the Divorce Transition”. This particular journal was written to give the reader possibly new viewpoints of just how harsh divorce can impact a child’s spirit and what they view to be ‘social justice’. Within the journal, it is argued that divorce damages a child’s view of how their relationship with their parents are sacred, as well as the expectation that good and not harm will be bestowed upon them in life. Divorce, as explained, practically crushes the child’s spirit. Both of these articles share valid points within each, however it is not expected for every child to go through their parents divorcing in the same way. These are common consequences of divorce that children present after the fact, yet there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration that may explain why not all divorces are devastating on children, or are – at the least – not as bad.

In the two articles “Psychological and Emotional Aspects of Divorce” and “An Overview of the Psychological Literature on the Effects of Divorce on Children” are both coming from the standpoint that yes, there can and are negative effects of divorce on children; however, there are going to be certain children more effected than others, and how there are ways to prevent such a negative impact on the kids being put in the middle. It is states that

Children’s psychological reactions to their parents’ divorce vary in                                           degree dependent on three factors: (1) the quality of their                                                           relationship with each of their parents before the separation, (2) the                                       intensity and duration of the parental conflict, and (3) the parents’                                           ability to focus on the needs of children in their divorce (Corcoran).

This is an agreed statement within both articles, yet displayed in different ways. The article “An Overview of the Psychological Literature on the Effects of Divorce on Children” gives ways that children can be dealt with during a divorce so that they may not be impacted as heavily. There are areas where a child is more likely to be effected in, however it also is a depending factor on how the adults in the situation react to their child’s behavior.

I think that all four articles have valid areas being brought to the reader’s attention, and should be considered when two adults are going through a divorce that have children. The psychological needs of a child is very important to be kept in check while going through a vulnerable stage of their lives, such as when their parents have decided to separate. Although there is debate of just how divorce impacts children, there is no doubt that there is some sort of mental change within the child. There has to be adjustments made when going through a divorce, for both adults and children involved. Both the negative and neutral resources give references to both sides fairly well. These resources were found both by using the Abell Library’s website, as well as the search engine Ebscohost.

 

 

 

Works Cited:

An Overview of the Psychological Literature on the Effects of Divorce on Children. (2004, May). Retrieved March 31, 2017, from http://www.apa.org/about/gr/issues/cyf/divorce.aspx

Corcoran, K. O. (1997, June). Psychological and Emotional Aspects of Divorce. Retrieved April 1, 2017, from http://www.mediate.com/articles/psych.cfm

Fagan, P. F., & Churchill, A. (2012). Marri Research. The Effects of Divorce on Children. Retrieved March 30, 2017, from http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF12A22.pdf

Kruk, E. (2013). Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health. Social Justice, Spirituality, and Responsibility to Needs: The “Best Interests of the Child” in the Divorce Transition. Retrieved April 1, 2017, from ebscohost.


Believing Your Intelligence

Week 9’s First Impression Prompt covers the topic of intelligence. In this discussion, we were asked to watch three videos: Jane Elliott’s classic blue eyes/brown eyes experiment, Claude Steele explaining stereotype threat, and Rosenthal & Jacobson’s discovery of the Pygmalion effect. I will discuss each of these videos in the order listed.

Jane Elliott Brown Eyes vs Blue Eyes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CtrpLh6TKk): This video was a demonstration of imposed discrimination the third grade teacher, Jane Elliott, introduced her class to. She separated the class by blue eyes and brown eyes, permitting the blue eyed people to be “superior” to their brown eyed counterparts. She wanted to demonstrate among her kids of how it feels to be discriminated against. She successfully did so; it was quite shocking of just how the children had changed in demeanor so quickly, as she had commented.

Claude Steele explaining stereotype threat (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGEUVM6QuMg): As learned in Chapter 7, a stereotype threat is where a person feels themselves being at risk for being stereotyped because of some type of social group/class they are in. In this video it is observed that when people have the feeling of being under a stereotypical threat, they will adjust their behavior that ends up fitting more towards the stereotype. In this short clip, psychologists Jeff Stone observed a group of white and black male athletes. He told them that they would be tested for 1) their athleticism, and then 2) their sports strategy skills. The first test the black male group prevailed in, while the second question had the white male students come out on top. This is a match-up with stereotypes, however it is assumed because of the way the questions were presented and expressed. It is disheartening to know that this effect is shown to be true. It does make quite a bit of sense, however I do question the accuracy in these findings. I think it would be much more relevant to prove more of how these people feel that they are being stereotyped versus if it actually is how they are.

Rosenthal & Jacobson’s discovery of the Pygmalion effect (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTghEXKNj7g): Two psychologists implanted in teacher’s heads that particular students were ‘late bloomers’ to see the effects it could have. In a short time, they had started to treat their children differently. They had a more positive expectations among their students, which increased their performance in doing well. This falls under the Pygmalion effect, which is the believed effect that higher expectations will lead to an increase in performance ability. Climate, input, response opportunity, & feedback are four factors the psychologists observed effect the children and teachers learning opportunities within the study and how well the child prevailed throughout the next school year. I thought it was interesting how the teachers would pick out the children that were expected to be smarter than the others, while dismissing the other children. It makes me disappointed in many teachers for treating between the ‘types’ of children differently without acknowledging how it will affect them in the future of their education.

 

All in all, I thought all of these videos were quite interesting and brought out valid points to take note of for the education system. Looking back at my own school experiences, I can firmly believe these instances. In a specific case with myself, there was a time where I was so awful at math. (I still am, just not as much!). The teachers did not do a great deal to help me, or give me outside resources to turn to for a different perspective for help; it was as if they had given up on me. However, a professor that greatly appreciated my desire to become better at math helped me tremendously in giving me extra help as well as encouragement in doing so – so, instead of ending the semester with a low C as expected, I finished with a high B. It helps tremendously is a person – especially an educator – believes in the student, and that they will be successful in learning. There are other factors that can be put into play for being able to comprehend information, however the way a professor, mentor, etc., presents and delivers the information can also have a withstanding impact on the student of individual.


Violence Amongst Children

Violent video games have rose to be a hot topic discussed in the media. The subject has dwindled down from public headlines compared to years ago, however, it is still a sensitive subject. Some argue that violent video games are negatively impacting developing children’s minds, whereas others say they have no effect. There is also great debate as to whether or not they should be permanently banned. I have the belief that these video games are not the sole case in effecting the young gamers mind. There are more factors that go into it rather than just the video games, which is very important to consider when trying to create a reliable correlation between the two. Such factors would be how the child is raised at home, how educated they are about the violence that goes on within the game, what other violence they are exposed to (home life, movies, songs, etc.), how old the child is, and how the parents/guardian(s) of the child go about when discussing the violent nature of video games and other sources of violence. Because of all of the other possible variables that go around the development of children, I do not think that violent video games are to blame. I do believe, however, that the games should stay restricted to certain ages. I also believe that parents and other sources should educate their children about the violence that goes on within the world we live in. I do believe it is good to expose children to some sort of violence (to an extent) in order to prepare them to not be too naive for the real world.

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