, Volume 66, Issue 1-2, pp 38-52
Date: 12 Oct 2011

Maternal Attachment and Television Viewing in Adolescents’ Sexual Socialization: Differential Associations Across Gender

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Abstract

The present study explores whether gender and maternal attachment moderate the relationship between television viewing and adolescents’ sexual and gender stereotypical attitudes. A quantitative survey was conducted among 1,026 Belgian adolescents in a targeted sample of nine schools (Mean age = 16.3). Findings show that greater exposure to television among boys and lower maternal attachment among boys and girls is associated with more liberal and stereotypical sexual attitudes. While maternal attachment has a buffering effect on the relationship between television viewing and sexual attitudes among girls, maternal attachment has a risk-increasing effect among boys. Further research is needed to explore more fully the emergence of gender differences in the influence of maternal attachment and television viewing on adolescents’ sexual development.

Laura Vandenbosch is a doctoral candidate of the Flemish Fund for Scientific Research (FWO).