However, when music is so explicit and is easily presented to the youth, it could cause changes in their behavior and way of thinking about things. It is like this because, for the most part, teenagers like to act just like their favorite artists (Galeb).
Research conducted by psychologists Jason Rentfrow and Sam Gosling suggests that knowing the type of music you listen to can actually lead to surprisingly accurate predictions about your personality. Research also states that men are more likely than women to use music as a tool to increase their energy level and seek stimulation. In contrast, women are more likely than men to listen to music to lift their spirits when they are sad or lonely, or even to dwell on a somber mood. Although they do less often than women, men will usually match the music they listen to with their negative moods. Research has found that different subgroups interpret music lyrics in different ways.
Despite the commonality of antisocial lyrical themes and objectionable language and content across the board for many of the music genres we have today, most lyrics labeled “explicit” by the music industry are rap and heavy metal. Although rap and heavy metal are more likely than other genres to contain such objectionable words and content, pop and country lyrics with explicit language are rarely labeled as to content.
Pop music reaches a larger audience than heavy metal or rap. Sometimes the lyrics address a myriad of themes like heavy metal and rap do. There are, however, more that do not give reference to sex, violence, drug use, or contain objectionable language. Country music puts more emphasis on the lyrics and de-emphasizes melody and tonal complexity. They generally can tell a much clearer story with their lyrics than rock songs do (Ballard).
The results of one survey of 2,760 14 to 16 year old in 10 different South Eastern cities showed that they listened to music at least 40 hours a week. This shows that music, while sometimes explicit or derogatory, is important to teenagers’ identity and helps them define important social and sub-cultural boundaries. In one study, only 30% of teenagers knew the lyrics to their favorite songs, and their comprehension of the lyrics varied greatly (Committee on Communications).
Most teenagers interpret their favorite songs as being about love, friendship, growing up, life’s struggles, having fun, cars, religion, and other things that relate to life. For a small subgroup of teenagers, music preference may be highly significant. Awareness of, and sensitivity to, the potential impact of lyrics by consumers, the media, and the music industry is crucial. It is in children’s best interest not to listen to violent, sexist, drug-oriented, or antisocial music. A study that was conducted showed that young subjects who watched violent rap videos were more accepting of violent actions, particularly against women. Those who watched either violent or nonviolent rap were more inclined to show more materialistic attitudes and favor potentially obtaining possessions through crime. They also hold more negative views on the likelihood of succeeding through academic pursuits (Copley).
“If you get a kid already at risk, with a matrix of problems…the music can be a triggering device,” stated Joseph Stuessy. However it usually isn’t a danger for a teen whose life is balanced and healthy. There is a specific type of rap music that affected the economy for the worse, this is gangster rap. Gangster rap shook up the music industry in the mid 1980’s. This new music genre portrayed images of gangs, guns, violence, and sexism, yet it somehow was well received and became very popular in the span of just a few years. The nature of gangster rap influenced society in a negative way, but nothing could be legally done to stop it. The group N.W.A. publicly attacked the police through lyrics and got away with it. The fact that there were no repercussions made it seem as though this...
Cited: Communications, Committee on. “Impact of Music Lyrics and Music Lyrics on Children
and Youth.” American Academy of Pediatrics, 1996
Huesmann and Anderson. “The Influence of Media Violence on Youth.” 4.3 (2003):N.p.
Dec. 2003. Web. 02 Nov. 2014.
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