Does Music Affect Teens?
Can the Music Youth Listen to Affect Their Behavior?
Music is often blamed for influencing particular behaviors, but does it really do so? Why is music sometimes associated with negative behavior and actions? With music being such a staple in youth culture, it seems that each teenager has a “soundtrack to their life.” But, are they just innocently listening to their favorite tunes? Or are they in for something more? In the media it seems that certain groups that are affiliated with particular genres of music, often seen with styles such as rap and hard-rock/heavy metal, are pinpointed when something within their community goes awry, as having been strongly influenced by the music they listen to. But does it truly work this way? Can the content of a song influence one’s actions and/or behavior? The question remains; is there really a connection? As the popularity of music among youth grows, the number of teens who are becoming more violent, more sexually active and who are experimenting with drugs is steadily increasing. The parallel seen between the two analyses sparks questions regarding a connection; does music influence potentially harmful behavior? Well-Known Incidents Where Music Has Been Blamed
One of the most infamous music-influencing-behavior misconceptions is the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, a town in Jefferson County, Colorado, on Apr. 20, 1999, in which 12 students as well as a teacher were fatally injured, as well as 24 others who were injured. Upon learning that prior to their suicides, the two shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, were heavy metal and Goth music fans, it seemed to be that the media immediately instilled a moral panic about that particular genre of music. More specifically targeted in the Columbine shootings was singer Marilyn Manson. In filmmaker Michael Moore’s 2002 documentary Bowling for Columbine, Marilyn Manson, after being targeted by the media as an influence...
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