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Mar 11, 2009

A new study says that too much popular music and too much sex go hand in hand.

By FLYP Staff

“Sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll” has been an American anthem for decades. And, for just as long, parents and the rest of the establishment have worried that rock, rap, hip hop and everything else would lead to out of control sexual activity among the kids whose ears were pressed to their transistor radios or, these days, stuffed with earbuds.
Turns out they were right, at least according to a new study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The study concludes that teenagers—boys as well as girls—who preferred popular songs with degrading sexual references were more likely to have sex than those who mostly listened to other music.
They’re certainly not talking about Johnny Mathis or John Mayer. According to the scientists, one-third of all songs today have sexual references and two-thirds of all those are degrading—meaning sex based on physical characteristics and power, instead of mutual consent.
The researchers listened to hundreds of hours of music—good, bad and ugly—to figure out what was what. “Come a little closer baby, I feel like strippin’ it down” is non-degrading. “Get to bouncing round like a low rider,” is degrading.
All things are relative.
Once they understood the music, the scientists surveyed almost 900 9th graders at three high schools in Pittsburgh. Those students listened to an average of 31 hours of music per week, of which almost half met the “degrading” standard. The conclusion was simple: students who were more exposed to degrading music were twice as likely to have sex than their classmates with less exposure. No other factor—gender, age, economics—better explained their behavior.
On the other hand, kids who primarily listen to what the researchers classify as non-degrading lyrics were much less likely to have sex.
Why? The researchers speculated that the degrading lyrics portray life as simple, straightforward and uncomplicated—scripts which are easy to act out. Non-degrading lyrics portray life as complicated, confusing and scary—making it much less likely that listeners will try to sing along.
Turns out, your mother was right.


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