August 7th, 2006

me at star

AP: Raunchy lyrics can impact behavior

Not a huge surprise, this bit of research, reported by Lindsey Tanner of the Associated Press:
Teens whose iPods are full of music with raunchy, sexual lyrics start having sex sooner than those who prefer other songs, a study found.
Whether it's hip-hop, rap, pop, or rock, much of popular music aimed at teens contains sexual overtones. Its influence on their behavior appears to depend on how the sex is portrayed, researchers found.
Songs depicting men as "sex-driven studs" and women as sex objects, and which have explicit references to sex acts, are likelier to trigger early sexual behavior than those in which sexual references are more veiled and relationships appear more committed, the study found.
Teens who said they listened to lots of music with degrading sexual messages were almost twice as likely to start having intercourse or other sexual activities within the next two years, compared with teens who listened to little or no sexually degrading music.
Among heavy listeners, 51 percent started having sex within two years, versus 29 percent of those who said they listened to little or no sexually degrading music.

The study itself is in the August issue of Pediatrics.

Like I said, the findings aren't exactly surprising - but it does reinforce in my mind the importance of the work my fellow Our Whole Lives facilitators and myself do.