Our results regarding the limited impact of media also fit with the observations from societal data. Despite a plethora of sexual media available to teens, a crisis of risky teen sexual behavior has not emerged.
We watch what we're interested in watching
Newer models of media use suggest that it is the individuals who consume media, not the media itself, who are the driving agents of behavior. Evidence suggests that users seek out and interpret media according to what they want to get from it, rather than passively imitating it.
People don’t generally accidentally watch media, sexual or otherwise, but are motivated to do so because of preexisting desires.
For instance, some recent studies have indicated that youth seek out media that fit with preexisting motives, called a selection effect, but that media don’t necessarily lead to further problem behaviors. For example, research suggests that some teens who are already aggressive might be interested in violent video games, but playing such games doesn’t make kids more aggressive.