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Music Videos Promote Sexuality and Profanity and Teens Love it

Music is an integral part of a teen’s life. In the American context, it has been always a symbol of socialization and entertainment. We refer to the most popular and common as pop music. For the adult‘s generation, they were content to listen to different songs and genres through audio channels like radio, cassette tapes, recordings, discs, and others. But today, advancements in technology have enabled it to be integrated with visual representation. This combination is what we call a music video.


Though music videos are particularly entertaining especially for those who love music in general, too much exposure to it can lead to negative effects. Statistically speaking, children and teens are the most vulnerable to those effects. The younger members of the population are the ones who spend the most time in watching music videos.


So what is really wrong with teens constantly exposed to music videos?


Researchers are now turning their attention towards the study on the capability of a music video in promoting aggression and sexuality among teens and young adults. The main inquiry is whether it can really build a type of ambiance wherein sexual promiscuity and activity becomes a lot more acceptable in reality.


When we talk about music lyrics feeding words that promote sexualization among the youth, it is nothing compared to the potential effect from a music video. In music videos, not only does one hear explicit lyrics, there’s also the portrayal of images and motion pictures with a sexual theme in it. Most of the time, hip hop and R&B videos contain the most graphic and explicit showing of girls or women depicted as mere sex objects by men. Hard rock and metal on the other hand commonly show violence and aggression. Just by reading the kind of message brought by the lyrics and coupled with the expression of nudity and sensual movements in the video, one does not need a scientist to identify the gross encouragement of sexuality.


There is no big deal if these kinds of content in music videos are at least restricted or limited to adult viewers. But the problem is channels like MTV and VH-1 are naturally intended for teens and young people. And why not, according to a 2005 study entitled “Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8-18-year-olds,” music and television are the dominant media consumed by youth and that they spend more than six hours a day watching or listening to virtually all types of media, from television, movies, music, music videos, internet, and others. Furthermore, the Kaiser Family Foundation found out that among four young people aged between 16 and 24, three watch MTV regularly. So if you own a music channel and want to maximize profits from it, then children and teens are your biggest customers.


Additionally, a report by the Culture and Media Institute revealed that sex is always the most popular theme in almost all types of music genres that are regularly list in the top of music video charts and channels. This means that not only do these songs encourage profanity and sexual promiscuity through the lyrics; they also show it visually with the use of music videos. The same research concluded that the recurrent viewing of music videos is directly linked to the risk of increasing beliefs in sexual stereotypes like the obsession of losing weight and staying thin and sexy in teenage girls for the hope of being recognized as sexually attractive.


What is the consequence?


The most affected group is children and teens. Although they see these music videos as some sort of entertainment, most of them do not realize how immoral and distressing the contents are. The problem is they fail to accept it as something that’s bad for them. Instead, they consider the stuff they see in them as something worth imitating. This mentality even reaches to a point where they begin to model their own behavior in the real world to that of what they usually see in music videos. For instance, young boys start to view women as sex objects. They feel they have the freedom to be sexually aggressive to them. Young women on the other hand begin to accept the idea that they can engage in sex even at such a tender age simply because it is what they see and interpret in music, songs, and music videos. For both sexes, they believe that having sexual a sexual relationship prior to marriage is accepted and that state of mind commonly leads to early and unwanted pregnancy and the acquisition of sexually transmitted diseases.


However, parents should know best that children and teens are just too young and innocent to understand the roots of the issue. The reason why they become the most vulnerable is for the simple fact that they still don’t have the ability to determine what’s right and wrong.

Living in a country where democracy and civil liberties thrive, it is impossible to censor or limit the freedom of expression and speech portrayed in the media. Nonetheless, it is within the moral and ethical responsibility of practitioners, artists, recording companies, and even TV networks to at least illustrate due conscientiousness and morality in providing entertainment for the viewing public. They should bear in mind that majority of the population are youth and teens, and they still have to grow up in a rather wholesome manner, free from violence and immorality.


So now what?


Parents still have control over their children. Though teens are at a certain stage where they become very stubborn and rebellious, it is still the parent’s responsibility to make them act and behave properly. In order to combat the negative effects of music videos and music media in general, here are some tips:

  • Parents and guardians should be completely aware as to what kind of music genre their kids are listening and watching. By doing this, they will have the opportunity to examine the content and then talk to their kids about anything in it that they feel offensive and unpleasant.
  • One can as well mark or label DVDs or CDs that contain songs that they think contain harmful material for their children.
  • Since music television channels do not have a specific filter for child or teen viewing, it is the parent’s initiative to warn and caution their kids on the potential harm and bad influence that may be caused by the use of profane language, sexual material, and violence in selected music videos, particularly those that belong to the rap, R&B, hip hop, and hard rock genres.
  • As a parent, one can instantly determine if there is a sudden change of behavior from their teen child. If he starts to manifest violent behavior or a sense of disrespect towards others, it’s time for a serious talk. The parent can ask the child or teen on how he feels about the stuff he sees and hears in music videos. Identify how much time is the child or teen spending in watching them.
  • Being informed and updated about the recent trends in music can also help a lot if parents want to know what type of influence their children are getting.





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