Title

Heavy Sexual Content Versus Safer Sex Content: A Content Analysis of the Entertainment Education Drama Shuga

Document Type

Article

Department

Graduate School of Media and Communications

Abstract

Extremely popular with Kenyan youth, the entertainment-education drama Shuga was designed with specific goals of promoting condom use, single versus multiple sexual partners, and destigmatization of HIV. Almost as soon as it aired, however, it generated controversy due to its extensive sexual themes and relatively explicit portrayal of sexual issues. To determine how safer sex, antistigma messages, and overall sexual content were integrated into Shuga, we conducted a content analysis. Results indicated that condom use and HIV destigmatization messages were frequently and clearly communicated. Negative consequences for risky sexual behavior were communicated over the course of the entire series. Messages about multiple concurrent partnerships were not evident. In addition, in terms of scenes per hour of programming, Shuga had 10.3 times the amount of sexual content overall, 8.2 times the amount of sexual talk, 17.8 times the amount of sexual behavior, and 9.4 times the amount of sexual intercourse as found in previous analysis of U.S. entertainment programming. Research is needed to determine how these factors may interact to influence adolescent viewers of entertainment education dramas.

Publication

Health Communication

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