The following information is in reference to Chapter 9, page 100, of The Power Of Sound.
• “Listen up: Explicit music lyrics can promote risky behavior.” (2009)
• Feeling the Beat: The Meaning of Rap Music for Ethnically Diverse Midwestern College Students.” (2007)
• “Differential Gender Affects of Exposure to Rap Music on African Americans.” (1995)
• “The Immediate Effects of Homicidal, Suicidal, and Nonviolent Heavy Metal and Rap Songs on the Moods of College Students.” (1995)
• “The Influence of Misogynous Rap Music on Sexual Aggression Against Women.” (1995)
• “The Relationship between Heavy Metal and Rap Music and Adolescent Turmoil: Real or Artifact?” (1994)
• “Adolescent Suicide: Music Preference as an Indicator of Vulnerability.” (1992)
• “Adolescents and Their Music.” (1989)
• “Adolescents’ Interest in and Views of Destructive Themes in Rock Music.” (1987)
“Adolescents and Their Music.” In a 1989 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Elizabeth Brown reported: “During adolescence, teenagers are expected to develop standards of behavior and reconcile them with their perceptions of adult standards. In this context, music, a powerful medium in the lives of adolescents, offers conflicting values. The explicit sexual and violent lyrics of some forms of music clash with the themes of abstinence and rational behavior promoted by adult society. Identification with rock music, particularly those styles that are rejected by adults, functions to separate adolescents from adult society. Some forms of rock music extend well beyond respectability in fulfilling this definitional role. Total immersion into a rock subculture, such as heavy metal, may be both a portrait of adolescent alienation and an unflattering reflection of an adolescent’s perception of the moral and ethical duplicity of adult society. Physicians should be aware of the role of music in the lives of adolescents and use music preferences as clues to the emotional and mental health of adolescents.” 20 adolescents.”20
“Adolescents’ Interest in and Views of Destructive Themes in Rock Music.” In this 1987 University of Florida study, the goal was to determine musical preferences and views on homicide, satanism, and suicide (HSS). In all, 694 middle and high school students were given questionnaires of structured and open-ended questions. Nine percent of the middle school students, 17 percent of the rural, and 24 percent of the urban high school students were HSS rock fans. Three quarters of these fans were male, and nearly all were white.
Of the remaining non-HSS fans, a large proportion shared the concern of adult citizens and professional groups about destructive lyrics in rock music and their effects. 21 their effects.21
“Adolescent Suicide: Music Preference as an Indicator of Vulnerability.” Researched in 1992, this study from Australia investigated possible relationships between adolescents’ music preferences and aspects of their psychological health and lifestyle. Of the girls, 74 percent preferred pop music; 71 percent of the boys preferred rock and heavy metal. Significant associations with suicidal thoughts, acts of deliberate self-harm, depression, delinquency, drug taking, and family dysfunction appeared to exist with those respondents who preferred rock or heavy metal. This was especially true of the 26 percent of the girls who expressed a preference for rock or heavy metal.
Feeling sadder after listening to the rock or heavy metal appeared to distinguish the most disturbed group. Researchers postulate that these students—11 percent of the poll group—are the most vulnerable to acting out the lyrics or themes from the music. 22 music.22
“Listen up: Explicit music lyrics can promote risky behavior.” A 2009 article from The American Academy of Pediatrics states that music lyrics have become more explicit in promoting violence, sexual promiscuity, and drugs. They state that online MP3 music downloads, the prevalence of iPods, and music-playing cell phones appear to encourage children to alienate themselves from the world with headphones.
“It’s important for parents to be aware of what their children are listening to. Research shows possible correlations between a teenager’s preference for certain musical genres and risky behaviors.” 23 behaviors.”23
Despite its national and international appeal, rap is considered one of the most controversial of music genres.
“Differential Gender Affects of Exposure to Rap Music on African Americans.” Thirty African-American males and thirty African-American females, ages eleven through sixteen, from an inner-city youth club in Wilmington, North Carolina, were recruited for this 1995 study. They were shown nonviolent rap videos that contained images of women in sexually subordinate roles. They also read a vignette that involved teen dating violence perpetrated by a male. Some parts of the group did not see the videos.
Responses showed a significant correlation to gender. Acceptance of the use of violence did not vary for the young men after watching the videos. Conversely, female subjects who were exposed to the videos showed greater acceptance of the violence than did females who were not exposed.
Prior studies have shown that exposure to violent rap music did, in fact, tend to lead to a higher degree of acceptance of the use of violence, including violence against women. 24 violence against women.24
“The Influence of Misogynous Rap Music on Sexual Aggression Against Women.” This study focused solely on the effects of misogynous rap music on men. Conducted in 1995 at Ohio’s Kent State University, the purpose of this research was to determine the effect of cognitive distortions concerning women on sexually aggressive behavior in the laboratory. Misogyny is defined as “hatred of women.” The misogynous rap music used in this study contained frequent references to both sex and violence. These songs often referred to women as “bitches” and “hos” and suggested that women enjoy coercive sex. The rap songs used for the neutral listening contained no references to sex or violence and were primarily concerned with the problems of social injustice facing African Americans in America.
Twenty-seven men listened to misogynous rap music and twenty-seven men listened to neutral rap music. Participants then viewed neutral and sexual/violent film vignettes and chose one to show to a female confederate. Among the participants in the misogynous music group, 30 percent showed the assaultive vignette and 70 percent showed the neutral. Among the men who listened to the neutral rap music, only 7 percent showed the sexual/violent video; 93 percent showed the neutral vignette.
These findings suggest that misogynous music facilitates sexually aggressive behavior and support the relationship between cognitive distortions and sexual aggression. 25 aggression.25
“The Relationship between Heavy Metal and Rap Music and Adolescent Turmoil: Real or Artifact?” Adolescents and their parents were surveyed to investigate the association between heavy metal and rap music and adolescent psychosocial turmoil. Adolescents who preferred heavy metal and rap music were compared with those who preferred other types of music. Results indicated that adolescents who preferred heavy metal and rap music had a higher incidence of below-average school grades, school behavioral problems, sexual activity, drug and alcohol use, and arrests.
Researchers in this 1994 study noted, however, that the majority of heavy metal and rap listeners are male: “What we may be seeing are merely behaviors associated with being an adolescent male.” 26 adolescent male.”26
“The Immediate Effects of Homicidal, Suicidal, and Nonviolent Heavy Metal and Rap Songs on the Moods of College Students.” This 1995 study from Appalachian State University examined the impact of homicidal, suicidal, and nonviolent heavy metal and rap songs on the moods of male undergraduates. There were no effects of song content or music type on suicidal ideation, anxiety, or self-esteem. Also, researchers found that male adolescents reported feeling a release of negative emotions—in a positive, nondestructive way—when listening to heavy metal music.. 27music.27
“Feeling the Beat: The Meaning of Rap Music for Ethnically Diverse Midwestern College Students.” “Despite its national and international appeal, rap is considered one of the most controversial of music genres. Given the political charge it generates, rap music has spawned research across the social and health sciences. The majority of the research has investigated its impact on African Americans. Further, the research has tended to focus on negative aspects of the music; there has been a dearth of in-depth qualitative studies that explore how rap impacts the listener.” This 2007 phenomenological study explored the impact on ethnically diverse college students. Results indicate a profound psychological and educational effect and the discussion goes on to highlight the potential and innovative ways rap music can be utilized with adolescents in fields such as education, risk reduction programs, and counseling psychology. 28 psychology.28