A Government advisory group has praised teen magazines as being the “only source” of good advice on sexual issues for teenagers. The Sexual Health and HIV advisory group has highlighted the responsible role of teen titles in sex education.
Speaking on BBC’s Today programme on Friday (June 15), the vice-chair of the group, Anne Weyman, stressed the importance of teenage magazines in a landscape of “patchy” sex education in schools.
A report, released by the advisory group, calls for recognition of the link between drink, drugs and sex and asks the Government to devise better education programmes which look at the issues from the perspective of their target audience.
Weyman said: “If you read the advice in teenage magazines, they are always telling girls to think about the situation and not to be pressured into having sex. They do give a lot of good advice and for some young people this is the only source of their information.”
When asked if teenage magazines were too explicit and encouraged early sexualisation, Weyman said that teenage magazines always stressed that the age of consent was 16 and produced articles which equipped their readers to resist pressure to have sex if they were not ready – a set of skills which the report highlighted as being key to reducing sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancies.
Teen magazines include Sugar, Bliss, CosmoGirl! and It’s Hot.