The Government plans to use teen magazines as a way of reducing
rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, according
to Children’s Minister Beverley Hughes.
Speaking at a meeting of
the PPArun Teen Magazine Arbitration Panel (TMAP) last week, Hughes
said the titles, which have been criticised in the past for their open
coverage of sexual issues, had a “crucial” role to play in improving
teenage sexual health.
Agony aunts provided a “trusted and authoritative source of information,”
added, and would be asked to reinforce Government messages on avoiding
having sex too early and using sexual protection later on.
Thompson of TMAP told Press Gazette that a link-up between teen titles
and the Government was ” a great idea”, but added: “It needs to be in
conjunction with the industry to make sure the right message is being
Dr Fleur Fisher, chair of the panel, said: “Many
have argued that the media have now taken the place of the family and
the school as the major socialising influence in contemporary society.
debate on these issues needs to be informed by serious, in-depth
research, and it is vital that educators are able to use the media in
constructive and creative ways.
“There is a need to move beyond a merely defensive approach, and to find new ways of empowering young people.”