World News – UA – Teens more likely to associate marijuana use with improved sexual activity


Adolescents exposed to pro-cannabis advertising and social media posts are more likely than women to associate marijuana use with improved sexual activity, new research from the ‘Washington State University suggests

Researchers found that adolescent males expected cannabis users to be less inhibited and enjoy sex more, leading them to express their intention to use marijuana in the future. Adolescent girls and young women, however, were less influenced by future cannabis use by perceived messages and connections

The messages teens and young adults see are part of what makes an impact, the type of appeal and the content, not just how young people see these messages on social media « 

Jessica Fitts Willoughby, lead author of the study and associate professor at Murrow College of Communication « Messages matter »

Beyond the perceived links between marijuana and sex, the findings show the impact of advertising and social media content that portrays marijuana in a positive light on teens and young adults, has t -she explains

Additional conversations between parents and their children, as well as a more critical view of content, may be needed to limit the impact of pro-marijuana messages on viewer perceptions, Stacey JT Hust, associate professor at Murrow College of Communication and co-author of the study, said

« The next step is to identify how the ads affect people when it comes to sex-related marijuana expectations as well as the intent to use before and after sex, » Hust said. p>

The WSU team of researchers interviewed two groups for the study, more than 300 young people aged 15 to 17 and nearly 1,000 college-aged young adults Each group was asked about their social media habits, their exposure to pro-marijuana content, whether in the form of advertisements or user-generated content, their perceived associations between sex and marijuana, and their intentions to use marijuana in the future Young adults were also asked about their past use of marijuana, as it is legal in Washington state for people over 21 to use it.

Regardless of age or gender, researchers found that participants who saw more pro-marijuana content on social media had greater intentions to use cannabis in the future.

It is difficult to regulate the posts that young people see on social media, as the majority of content is made up of user posts, and even content from marijuana companies is often not presented in the same way. than it would be in a traditional ad, the researchers said

The authors suggest that these results indicate that more sophisticated regulations regarding the content of marijuana advertisements, and not just where marijuana advertisements are placed, may be needed Hust pointed out industry regulatory guidance alcohol that suggests posts should not directly link its products to sexual activity as an example of what may be required for marijuana

Expectations about marijuana and sex were not associated with college-aged men or women plans to use marijuana in the future The study did not determine why the older men academics were not influenced in the same way as adolescents, but the authors said that one possibility is that in college, young men generally have more sexual experience on which to engage. to press to shape their perceptions of sex and marijuana

Exposure to pro-marijuana content on social media did not have the same gender links for girls and women.However, content considered positive from marijuana was still associated with increased intentions to consumption Lack of results related to marijuana and girls’ and women’s sexual expectations could also be linked to concerns related to the sex agency, the authors said.

Willoughby, JF, et al (2020) Social Media, Marijuana, and Sex: An Exploratory Study on Teen Marijuana Intentions and Student Marijuana Use Journal of Sex Research is what jeorg / 101080/0022449920201827217

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