...sexual norms, beliefs, and attitudes are being formed. This makes adolescents particularly susceptible to sexual messages in media, such as television, movies, social media, and music. The parts of their brains that are responsible for critical thinking skills and decision-making are not yet developed, making it difficult for them to analyze these media messages.
Studies show that adolescents rely on media as a major source of information. More than 80% report that their peers learn some or a lot about sex, drugs, and violence from television, movies, and other media. The average teenaged viewer of prime time network television sees 143 incidents of sexual behavior each week. These sexual messages are almost always portrayed in a positive light with little, if any, discussion of possible risks or adverse consequences. But that’s not all. About 80% of all network or cable television movies have sexual content, and about 60% of music videos portray sexual feelings and impulses, with many displaying provocative clothing and sexually suggestive body movements.
Media literacy can provide students with the skills needed to understand and respond to the onslaught of media messages that bombard them.
The Center for Media Literacy’s “MediaLit Kit” suggests a four-step process for teaching media literacy in the classroom. This process is a spiral of inquiry called the Empowerment Spiral:
For a lesson that teaches students how to analyze sexual messages, implement Puberty: The Wonder Years, Grade 5, Lesson 5-7, titled “Media Messages.”
 Gruber, E. & Grube. J. W. (2000). Adolescent sexuality and the media: a review of current knowledge and implications. West J Med. 2000 Mar; 172(3): 210–214. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1070813/
 Center for Media Literacy. Retrieved from http://www.medialit.org/reading-room/empowerment-spiral#