Ultimately, this is what we found. Once other factors such as family environment, personality or even gender were controlled, sexy media exposure did not meaningfully correlate with teen sexual behavior.
Contrary to common fears, sexy media doesn’t seem to have any practical significance for when teens first have sex or start other sexual behaviors. This lack of correlation is a warning sign we might be on the wrong track in trying to blame media for teen sexual risk-taking.
Why doesn't media influence teens?
There are numerous theories that discuss how individuals and media interact. However, many older media effects theories didn’t consider why people were drawn to media, how they processed it, or what they hoped to get from it. Such theories assumed viewers simply irrationally and purposelessly imitated what they saw. Most of the papers we examined in our meta-analysis were tests of these basic, automatic, media effects theories.