Monday, August 07, 2006


Barry White would be proud

A new report released by RAND (funded by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) appearing in Pediatrics (The Journal for American Pediatrics) links music and sexual behaviour. The article titled - The Exposure to Degrading Versus Nondegrading Music Lyrics and Sexual Behaviour Among Youth finds listening to music with degrading sexual lyrics is related to advances in a range of sexual activities among adolescents, whereas this does not seem to be true of other sexual lyrics.

This result is consistent with sexual-script theory and suggests that cultural messages about expected sexual behaviour among males and females may underlie the effect. Reducing the amount of degrading sexual content in popular music or reducing young people's exposure to music with this type of content could help delay the onset of sexual behaviour.

Now I am sure that the no responsible government organization would back the media reports that are stating "Raunchy Lyrics Prompt Teens To Have Sex." This isn't actually true. What the study found is the age old struggle society has in interpreting data. Is it causation or correlation.
Causation - the act of causing something to happen

Correlation - the relationship between two variables during a period of time, especially one that shows a close match between the variables' movements.

For example, all utility stocks tend to have a high degree of correlation because their share prices are influenced by the same forces.
Listening to sexually suggestive lyrics is correlated with sexual behaviour. It doesn't cause it. There are many reasons why youth are having sex at a young age and I am sure that one of them is music, however, it is not the sole driver. Movies? Television? Raunch culture? Female empowerment? Lack of role models? Decline of the nuclear family? Sexual revolution hangover?

Those who actually believe that today's youth is having more sex because of the lyrics in their music need to go back and listen closely to songs from previous generations. Things are no different now than they were then: Squeeze me baby, till the juice runs down my leg. The way you squeeze my lemon, I'm gonna fall right out of bed."
I'm living proof that lyrics in music do NOT cause youth to have more sex.
Post a Comment

<< Home