Do lyrics promote teen sex?
Take teen sex, add some raunchy lyrics and rap and you already have a recipe for interesting headlines. The web this week covered an interesting report that suggested that teens that listened to “raunchy” lyrics are more likely to have sex within two years.
Associated Press reported that researchers from the Rand Corporation interviewed 1,461 US adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17, most of whom were virgins when the study began in 2001. They were questioned about their sexual behaviour, the music they enjoyed and how often they listened to it. Follow-up interviews were then carried out in 2002 and 2005. Those listening to “sexually degrading” lyrics were twice as likely to have sex in the following two years than others.
One can only hope they were telling the truth.
Steve Martino, the study’s lead author, said: “Musicians who use this type of sexual imagery are communicating something very specific about what sexual roles are appropriate, and teen listeners may act on these messages.”
OK, OK, it’s easy to get a few laughs out of a subject like this. But what do you think? Can you think of specific songs that might have influenced you?
As a sidenote, the AP notes that 750,000 US teenagers get pregnant each year, while 4 million contract sexually-transmitted diseases. Having said that, I think it’s safe to say that the lyrics alone cannot have that effect – or else lyricists have more influence than the Vatican.