Influence and impact of Sex in Advertising on Present-Day YouthTyler Houston

From watching television, listening to the radio, looking at billboards or even magazines, it is very easy to say that there is a lot of sex advertising towards present day youth. Whether you are buying clothes from a store, or just walking in the downtown area, you are surrounded by advertisements lingering for attention. There are many reasons why companies target youth, and that reason is because youth are vulnerable and have the ability to be bought by marketers.

Television is one of the many ways marketers sell to youth. "Average teens spend almost four hours a day watching TV” (Blurt it). In this time, youth will be exposed to any advertisements while looking for a new show, in between the show/movie and even when they just turn on the T.V. There are “40,000 ads/year on television alone” (Pediatrics), and a lot of them have sexual content in the 30 second duration of each advertisement. Television has a very big influence on youth, and some people believe that there is room for television programs that inform/teach sexual education so that youth have the opportunity to learn how serious being sexually active is; and if youth are sexually active, they will be able to learn safe ways to partake it.
Walking through the streets, or listening to the radio, there are many advertisements that display sexual oriented products. These commercials or ads have pictures or slang that makes people attentive towards looking or hearing it. From, they say, “teenagers are twice as likely to participate in sexual activities if they watch or read about similar sexual behaviour in the media.”

A survey study, compiled by Teen People magazine, demonstrated that 27 per cent of the girls felt pressurized by the media to have a perfect body, with 69 per cent of the girls basing their idea of the perfect body on models featured in magazines" (Blurt it). It is okay if you want to buy certain products, but it is another if you are living your life by what the market says, and girls are the number one target when it comes to clothes and perfumes. In the advertisements directed to young woman, they have woman who are a certain weight, or have plastic surgery to enhance their bodies. A company that targets only woman is Victoria Secret. In their ads (mostly commercials), they use attractive woman with nice bodies to display their lingerie, and other articles of clothing. Girls see that they look good in them, so they want to go and buy them.

When young woman see this, they feel that in order to look “pretty”, that is what they must do as well. For young men, marketers target them with cologne, cars, woman and make them feel that if they purchase these products, they will have gorgeous woman following them, or “wanting” them. One of the companies that target teenage boys is AXE. They display commercials that have nearly naked woman chasing a guy who uses the AXE body spray; this causes most boys to go and buy it.
Another way advertising has become dominant to present day youth is online. With Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, young boys or girls are propelled with advertisements. When you sign up for these websites you must be at least 13 years or older. For those who are under 13, they lie about their age, and join regardless, with or without their parents knowing. A lot of companies use Facebook as ways to advertise, because almost everybody has it. At the end of commercials, at the bottom of the screen there is always the facebook website with the companies name after it showing that there is a page for anybody to see.

AXE Commercial

This commercial shows that when you buy and use the AXE body spray, not only will woman be attracted to you, they will literally be attracted to you like a magnet. They say beautiful woman will run towards you, and let you have full control over them. The people who wear AXE are youth, mostly males, except now they have made one for woman.

Victoria Secret Commercial

The commercial proves that, the company Victoria Secret uses very attractive woman with nice bodies to sell their products. Although their main target is woman 20 or above, they still target younger girls as well. If they don’t already buy their articles of clothing right now, they will be excited for the day that they do get to buy from. In this case, they are already influencing young woman to have the “want” to buy their clothes.

Hollister ads always have a picture of a half naked man, or a woman together or separate in the pictures. Not only are they partially dressed, but they make the man/woman look perfect. More often than not, the man and woman are usually together kissing, or holding each other. These ads are not posted on T.V in Canada, but the photos are put up in the store, and on their bags that come with the purchase. When the bag is being carried around, boys/girls see the bag, and want whatever the bag is showing. This makes the boy/girl want that perfect girl/guy who will have a nice body, or even influence them that they are not pretty enough.


Blurtit: "How Does Media Affect Today's Youth?" Blurt It. Blurt It, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2012. <>.
Pediactrics: "Children, Adolescents, and Advertising." Pediactrics. American Academy Of Pediactrics, 01 Dec. 2006. Web. 30 Jan. 2012. <>.

Johnson, Matthew: Johnson, Matthew. "The Little Princess Syndrome: When Our Daughters Act Out Fairytales." Natural Life MAgazine. 1976-2012 Life Media, Nov. & Dec. 2010. Web. 29 Jan. 2012. <>.

Youtube: AXE Commercial,

Victoria’s Secret Commercial,

Hollister Picture 1:

Hollister Picture 2: