Are children today growing up too soon? How do they - and their parents - feel about media portrayals of sex and personal relationships? Are the media a corrupting influence, or a potentially positive and useful resource for young people?This book draws on an extensive research project, involving in-depth interviews with children and parents, and diaries completed by children. It considers how young people (aged 9-17) interpret sexual material in television dramas, talk shows, music videos, advertisements, tabloid newspapers and teenage magazines; how they use such material to understand their experiences and build their identities; and how they respond to public and parental concerns about these issues. We hear children's and parents' own perspectives on these difficult issues - perspectives that are often ignored or trivialised in public debate. Accessibly written and entertaining, this book will be of interest to a wide audience of students, parents, educators and policy-makers.

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