Monitor Child's Music; Industry Sexualizes Kids

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 16, 2010 | Go to article overview

Monitor Child's Music; Industry Sexualizes Kids


Byline: Rebecca Hagelin, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Culture challenge of the week: music porn

Nearly every 12-year-old knows Rihanna. And Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. Do you?

The music industry today is huge, racking up more than $1.5 billion in sales in the U.S. alone - and kids are their target audience. It's an industry that's no longer primarily about music. It's become another avenue for selling porn and sexualizing younger and younger children in the process.

Last week, Mike Stock, one of Britain's top songwriters and producers, denounced his own industry for marketing music that is 99oft pornography. The music industry has gone too far, he says.

Mr. Stock, whose own music portfolio in years past included some very explicit lyrics, has changed his tune. He's a parent now, and in his view, Kids are being forced to grow up too young because music videos expose them to explicit images and sexualize even young children.

Gone are the days when parents could protect their children from raunchy music by checking CDs for Tipper Gore-inspired advisories. Much of the music's not just raunchy anymore - it's explicitly sexual. And it's only a download away from limitless play on your child's iPod.

The stars often reach down into the children's market to cultivate new fans, creating brand awareness among even the youngest children, ensuring future success and million-dollar revenues.

Take, for example, pop star Katy Perry. Wildly popular with the pre-teen set, she has long left her Christian roots behind. On her latest album, Teenage Dream, her nearly naked, pornographic romp flashes between beach flirtations and sex in a hotel room. She boasts about resisting record company efforts to tone down her song Peacock, baldly sexual in its connotation. The same Katy Perry was just featured on Nickolodeon's Kid's Choice music awards, guests on Sesame Street this fall, and appears in the 2011 kids' movie, The Smurfs. …

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