Sex education and the news: Lessons from how journalists framed virginity pledges
This analysis of newspaper articles about virginity pledges published from 1987 to 2001 describes prominent news frames on sex education. The articles focused on True Love Waits, a nationwide virginity pledge campaign encouraging abstinence, and results from Add Health (TLW), a longitudinal study that included questions to evaluate the effects of virginity pledges. Our results show how news frames and sources can vary for related events. Reporting on virginity pledges was often not grounded in science, and reporting on the science of pledges did not reflect a broader context. In this case, reporting may have encouraged support for abstinence-only programs.
Mebane, Felicia E., Eileen Yam, and Barbara K. Rimer. 2006. “Sex education and the news: Lessons from how journalists framed virginity pledges,” Journal of Health Communication 11(6): 583–606.