Mixed messages: inconsistent sexual scripts in Australian teenage magazines and implications for sexual health practices

Melanie C. Burns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Condom use among Australian adolescents has been shown to be variable, despite good knowledge among this group about sexual health risks and the promotion of condoms as a simple way to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections. This study explores dominant constructions of condom use within two Australian lifestyle magazines targeted towards teenage girls. Script theory is employed to examine the common sexual scripts found in these magazines, and it is shown that condom use is typically conceptualised within a ‘protection’ script at odds with other sexual scripts elsewhere present within the magazines, resulting in mixed messages about sexual safety. It is argued that sexual health promotions targeting behavioural change need to reconcile sexual scripts to improve their efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-205
Number of pages16
JournalSex Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2018


  • Australia
  • female sexuality
  • sexual scripts
  • teenage magazines
  • young women

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