Harmful Effects of Sexual Lyrics

Manila Bulletin, December 8, 2006 | Go to article overview
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Harmful Effects of Sexual Lyrics

ARGUABLY Filipinos are the most musical people in Asia (Indians could be our closest competitors). Watching the Philippine Idol show last October 7, I couldn't help marvel at the unlimited talents of Filipino singers (both male and female) literally coming out of the woodwork. Despite the mandatory constructive criticisms emanating from judges Francis Magalona, Pilita Corrales and Ryan Cayabyab, I could perceive wonder in their faces as they admire the total performing skills of our young warblers.

The early musical education of the Filipino youth at all social levels will be further enhanced by the tremendous advances in digital technology making all types of music accessible through the cell phone. Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung and other mobile telephone producers are competing with one another in making the cellular phone the major channel for delivering music to the masses.

I hope that those involved in the music industry in the Philippines, however, will exert every effort to prevent music with raunchy, sexual lyrics from inundating the mobile phone industry. A recent study in the US showed that teens whose iPods are full of sexual lyrics start having sex sooner than those who prefer other songs.

Parents have reason to be alarmed with the following findings, as reported by The Associated Press: "Whether it's hip-hop, rap, pop or rock, much of popular music aimed at teens contains sexual overtones. Its influence on their behavior appears to depend on how the sex is portrayed, researchers found.

"Songs depicting them as 'sexdriven studs,' women as sex objects and with explicit references to sex acts are more likely to trigger early sexual behavior than those where sexual references are more veiled and relationships appear more committed, the study found.

"Teens who said they listened to lots of music with degrading sexual messages were almost twice as likely to start having intercourse or other sexual activities within the following two years as were teens who listened to little or no sexually degrading music.

"Among heavy listeners, 51 percent started having sex within two years, versus 29 percent of those who said they listened to little or no sexually degrading music."

Another study that appeared in the journal Pediatrics (August 2, 2006) entitled "Exposure to Degrading Versus Nondegrading Music Lyrics and Sexual Behavior Among Youth," was based on telephone interviews with 1,461 teens aged 12 to 17.

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