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Raunchy Rap Lyrics Lead to Teen Sex

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A new study says explicit music lyrics can lead to teen sex. 

girl listening to music

"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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14 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jena February 24, 2009, 4:14 PM

Are we seriously going back to blaming our kids’ problems on music? Again? I thought this was over in the 80’s! You remember, heavy metal causes teen suicide… now rap must cause teen sex.

Shannon February 24, 2009, 4:25 PM

These songs are meant to dumb down our youth, there is nothing we can do about it. Parents should probably expose their kids to better music. Before that can be done however, the parent needs to develop a good relationship with his or her kid. It is the ultimate foundation if you wish to win over your kid to your cause.

ame i. February 24, 2009, 5:22 PM

Hmm, I’m not sure about that.
Having come of age during the mid 80’s, I feel it is my duty to expose mine to Ozzy, Pink Floyd, REM, Van Halen, etc. Just doing my job as a parent ;)

waukesha roper February 24, 2009, 5:58 PM

Its not the songs people, I mean really didn’t this come out already? When a child doesn’t know anything about sex then they want to learn, whether it be through music, tv shows or even books. I can tell you right now that if you aren’t talking to your kids or educating them about sex, somebody else it. The only reason my sister, who was my guardian at the time talked to me about sex and it was really brief, was because she found a condom in my backpack. What to know how that ended up in my backpack? Really simple, my sister was a Medical Assistant and worked at the clinics in various schools throughout the city as part of a program with the local hospital. When she worked weekends and the shifts were really long, we would go to work with her, me and my nephews. We would sit in the waiting room and watch tv or read books. One of the staff members came into the waiting room and asked different questions about std’s and sex. If you got the question right, you got a prize which could be anything from candy to condoms. Now I was only 12 and didn’t want anything to do with sex because at that time my sister had three kids by three different men, plus me, so parenthood at 12 of course didn’t look so hot. Once she discovered thats what happened the “talk” was pretty much over with. So how did I learn about sex and everything that goes with it? TV shows late at night, books, magazines and my friends at school. So don’t blame the media because parents aren’t doing their job. If your “talk” starts out with you asking your child what he or she knows, you have already lost the battle and your kid is no longer listening.

Jen February 24, 2009, 7:31 PM

What a bunch of BS. Try parenting your kids.

Christine February 24, 2009, 7:35 PM

Did the person who wrote this article actually read the study?

“But the findings don’t prove that the music caused kids to have sex, acknowledged Primack, who’s an assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

“The opposite could be true — that people who have more sex then go out and seek music with degrading sexual messages,” he said.

“Other researchers have linked music to sexual activity, but evidence of a direct cause-and-effect relationship remains elusive.”

Until it is etablished that there is a direct-cause-and-effect relationship, we should not buy into the hype. Printing this article and misrepresenting the facts is a horrible practice, Mom Logic. Shame on you.

Janie Ferner February 24, 2009, 8:20 PM

some of the lyrics of these songs are scary. My kids only 5 but i think when he’s older i better watch out.

Anonymous February 24, 2009, 8:22 PM

How about stop trying to find things other than yourself to blame your precious child’s obscene actions on.

Blown Teenager in Maryland February 26, 2009, 1:09 PM

I’m sorta kinda blown(that means angry in teenager…no sexual pun intended folks…>p) people keep singling out “rap” music as the sole degrader and virginity theif of us young people. I dont think its fair when you have as much degrading music coming the ROCK genre. Please!.And besides that, if parents are so afraid that “rap” music or any music for that matter is so degrading its their responsiblity to teach their child the meaning of sex, what is for, WHO its for, no matter how people mis-use it or distort its meaning through such music, the same way my mother taught me…I mean come on it is NOT that hard. This is an actually teenager telling you folks. Yes I actully listen to my mother, and I do NOT listen to music that is sexually degrading!…sheesh!….YALL HAVE A GOOD DAY….lol

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Austin March 9, 2010, 12:39 PM

I’m a teen in High School doing a paper on the effects of explicit music and teens, and i have not come across one credible source saying that music directly effects teens actions and thoughts. The day that I hear a song stating, “Go kill yourself now kid!” or “Go screw that girl you want to, even if she doesn’t want you to!” then i will have credible evidence that it does directly impact teens.

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