A new study says explicit music lyrics can lead to teen sex.
"Do it up slappin *ss cause the sex gets rough
Switch the positions and ready to get down to business" - "Wait (The Whisper Song)"
Lyrics like these, from rap duo the Ying Yang Twins, is one of the reasons there's a strong link between early sexual experimentation and popular songs with offensive lyrics which degrade people -- usually women -- in a sexually explicit manner, or so says a new study .
The study involved 700 American schoolchildren with an average age of 15 to see how often they listened to songs with different lyrical content. Of the 300 or so popular songs analyzed, a third used sexually explicit language and, of those, two thirds used degrading lyrics that demeaned people sexually.
An example of a non-degrading sexual lyric was: "Come a litter closer, baby, I feel like strippin' it down." A degrading lyric example would be: "After you work up a sweat, you can play with the stick."
According to the study, teens who listened most to "degrading" songs were more than twice as likely to have had intercourse.
"But the findings don't prove that the music caused kids to have sex", acknowledged Dr. Brian A. Primack, a pediatrician and lead author of the study. "The opposite could be true -- that people who have more sex then go out and seek music with degrading sexual messages," he said.
What's a parent to do if her kid is listening to sexually explicit rap music? Dr. Lisa Boesky, psychologist and author of "When to Worry: How to Tell if Your Teen Needs Help & What to Do About It", says parents first need to be more aware of their teens' music choices.
"Parents are comfortable saying 'You can't drink alcohol or get a piercing,' but are much more lax about what their kids listen to," says Dr. Boesky. "They need to take a much more active role."
Dr. Boesky says the warning labels on CDs meant to "protect" kids only make the music more attractive to teens. If it's forbidden, they only want it more.
But Dr. Boesky says listening to explicit rap music isn't an automatic red flag that your teen is indulging in high-risk behavior. "It's all a question of degree," she explains. "But if your kid is constantly listening to explicit rap and pop music throughout the day on their iPod, there might be a problem that's certainly worth addressing."
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