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Dirty and Degrading Lyrics Increase Teen Sex

It's funny that Kellie just wrote about music and sex, because that seems to be quite newsworthy these days. No, the press isn't talking about what songs turn them on, but they are talking about a new study that says teens who have Ipods (or other MP3s) that are filled with sexually explicit (read: degrading) songs are likely to have sex earlier. Whoa!

Of the teens who were followed by researchers, those who listened to sexually degrading music at the onset of the study were more likely to have sex within the first two years.

So, is the problem that teens are experimenting with sex? No, that's not just it. It's that the lyrics sung by their favorite artists are leading boys and girls to act out the offensive and disrespectful roles and stereotypes in these songs. Now, I am not opposed to free speech, but where are the people challenging musicians who regularly refer to women as whores, bitches, and sex objects to be used and discarded? Yeah, some of you are out there. But I propose that we start teaching teens how to critically evaluate their media.

They can still listen. They can still watch. But how about giving them the skills to see past the bravado? At least when they do decide to be sexually active they won't feel compelled to act out in degrading ways. Teens (both boys and girls) are good at heart. They are not born to treat sexual partners like crap - they are taught it - and buy into it if we don't do something about it. And let's not kid ourselves here, this study didn't have to be about teens - it could easily have been about adults acting out in despicable ways.

When I was a kid, "Like a Virgin" was considered pretty racy...but definitely not degrading. But I wonder how I would feel if I were thirteen and it was commonplace to hear that it was acceptable to treat me like dirt? I can't believe things have gotten so ugly. So tell me, why have things changed? Are we all so intolerant?

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Comments

It's funny, because although our world (and our media) is hyper-sexualized, I am not upset about it. I think that it gives all of us an opportunity to speak candidly about sexuality to people of all ages. The more we know, the better off we are...

LOVE this:

"But I propose that we start teaching teens how to critically evaluate their media."

Right on!

Great points, Logan (I assume you wrote this as I found it through your page).

People often try to scapegoat the media's representation of women when, though this is despicable, the real issue lies with the ears and eyes receiving the media and helping them interpret it appropriately and with a grain of salt.

You take a refreshing approach. Thank you.

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