Reality television, which began in the 1990s and gained popularity in the 2000s, claims that it portrays the real life of people; yet, to maintain a high level of entertainment, villains, heroes and drama are created within a narrative (Darling, 2004) and many elements of these shows are, at least partially, scripted (Murray and Ouetellete, 2004). Contrary to fictional characters being played by actors, reality tv is a genre that places unfamiliar faces in some staged situations with sporadic endings.
Furthermore, reality tv stars must portray themselves and there’s no actual scripts, though they are sometimes told what to do in order to get a specific media message across, whether it be negative or positive. It can be debated that the popularity of reality tv has dropped but, there is strength in numbers and audiences don’t want to watch phony, scripted television shows. Reality is what draws us in as viewers. Nevertheless, the gamble is that these shows are promoting a false sense of reality to today’s culture.
Unscripted reality television has turned out to be so well known and enormous that there now exist various classifications under the umbrella of Reality TV. A few examples of subgenres in reality television include : talent shows (Dancing with the Stars, The Four, and America’s Got Talent); game shows (Iron Chef, Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune, Fear Factor, and Jeopardy!); docusoaps (Love & Hip Hop, Black Ink Crew, College Hill, Teen Mom, and Jersey Shore); courtroom programs (The People’s Court, Paternity Court, and Divorce Court); makeover and lifestyle shows (Botched, Dr. Pimple Popper, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and House Hunters); dating programs (Flavor of Love, For the Love of Ray J, The Bachelorette, and The Millionaire Matchmaker), and reality programs ( Growing Up Hip Hop, Keeping Up with The Kardashians, Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood, and T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle). The purpose of this study will be to focus one of most popular subgenres, docusoaps and its effect(s) on young adults’ sexual behaviors.
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