Children and teenagers throughout history have always enjoyed listening to music. – rap, heavy metal, rock, hip-hop, and pop. They listen to music while driving their cars, while walking from class to class, while studying or doing homework, even while hanging out with friends. Most of the music they listen to, especially rap and heavy metal, have lyrics that repeatedly reference sex, violence and drugs. Repeatedly listening to such lyrics has negative effects on adolescents, including early sex, violent behavior, and use of drugs.
Nicki Minaj, for example, the most successful female rapper of all time, is notorious for using vulgar and sexually explicit lyrics in her songs (Khalid 2). One of her songs is “Stupid Hoe,” which she begins by singing, “I get it cracking like a bad back, b****, talking like a queen, when she looking like a lab rat” (Khalid 2). She repeats the line, You a stupid hoe, you a, you a stupid hoe” no less than eight times in every hook (Khalid 2). Nine Inch Nails is no better. In one of their songs, they sing, “I am a big man. Yes I am, and I have a big gun; got a big ole **** and I like to have fun. Held against your forehead I’ll make you suck, you know, just for the **** of it” (Rense 2).
Although kids love listening to music that refers to sex, violence and drugs, studies show that listening to such music is bad for them. According to Dr. Michael Rich, director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children’s Hospital and Boston stated, “When we look at the research, it indicates that kids who listen to a lot of music, who watch a lot of music videos, actually are at an increased risk for violent behavior, for substance abuse, for risky sexual behavior (“Sex” 1).
At least one study shows that sexually explicit song lyrics influence teenagers’ sexual behavior and cause them to start their sex lives earlier (Lupu 1). Of all age groups, children and teenagers have the most interest in sex, especially when they have not yet had any sexual relationships (Lupu 1).
In 2001, the U.S-based Rand Corporation in Pittsburgh conducted a study on how sexually explicit music affect teenagers (Lupu 1). The study found that the music they listen to influences their desire to become sexually active. After studying 1461 subjects ranging in age from 12 to 17, the researchers discovered that teenagers who listen to music with sexually degrading lyrics are twice as likely to start their sex lives in the following two years (Lupu 1). The researchers explained that sexually explicit music sends teenagers “a specific message about sex,” and that message has lowered “kids” inhibitions and made them less thoughtful.” (Lupu 1) One of the researchers tried to account for other factors that could impact a teenager’s sexual behavior, including parental permissiveness, but he still found that sexual lyrics had a stronger influence (Lupu 1).
Other experts also believe that listening to music whose lyrics refer to sex,...