Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Media Portrayals of Alcohol

College students reported that positive drinking outcomes, like having fun, socializing, meeting new people and expressing oneself, are more common than negative outcomes (Murphy et al, 2006). Negative consequences often do not occur immediately, meaning that youth and young adults may not see the adverse effects of drinking until it is too late. Real life positive outcomes are typically defined as increases in social benefits, which is in line with media portrayals. The only instance in Gossip Girl that negative consequences were more prevalent than positive was when the character was drinking alone, meaning they had no chance of benefiting socially. If there are depictions of under age drinking, more negative consequences should be shown in order to prevent early onset of drinking, as well as dependence in later life. In addition, television producers may have the responsibility to depict events and activities, other than drinking, that can bring positive outcomes.

A fellow blogger asked the following questions:

I just recently started watching Gossip Girl . I'm just wondering, does anyone else find it weird that the main characters in this tv series are always at a bar drinking when they're supposed to be in high school? Does this say something about the integrity of NYC bars? Or does it put pressure on those high school viewers to drink?

To answer her, I think YES to both.

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