published: Sunday | March 2, 2008
Gareth Manning, Sunday Gleaner Reporter
Tony Matterhorn thrilling the crowd at Passa Passa on Spanish Town Road in February 2004. A study found that reggae music is one of the influencing factors of early sexual behaviour in teens. - File Teenagers are identifying music, mainly of the dancehall genre, as a trigger for early sexual intercourse, according to a scientific study conducted by public policy analyst and doctoral candidate, Tazhmoye Crawford, at the University of the West Indies, Mona, last year. The study, which centred on contraceptive use among adolescents, revealed that a number of children aged nine to 17, identified popular music as the main influence for experimenting with sex. Music was identified as the fifth leading reason for having intercourse, with 10 per cent of boys indicating that it was the main reason, compared to three per cent of girls. But, the study's findings is generating a mix of arguments among artistes as well as academics. Behavioural scientist and music educator, Dr Marilyn Anderson says despite the fact that the music is being laid out as part of the culture, there is no doubt that hard-core dancehall lyrics and content has an impact on the brain. "Some rhythms, timbres and amplitudes of the music can affect emotional behaviour in humans, particularly the young," she says. Sexual activity on buses
She surmises there is a direct correlation, for example, between the loud, hard-core music played on some public transportation and the proliferation of sexual display and activity on these same buses. Lecturer and author, Dr Donna Hope says while there are legitimate linkage between the two, the influence of the music is not great when compared to other influences like peer pressure and early exposure to pornography. "The role of the music is quite negligible," she explains, "except that it takes so much from what is around us in the society then...