the hearts of teens…

7 08 2006

go read this article from the St. Louis Post Dispatch. this is what we need to fight for. this is what is tearing our nation down. tv, radio, itunes, our media is telling people, and especially teens and young adults, that this behavior is not only acceptable but appropriate and expected. my heart breaks when i think about this stuff.

if you need a place to find good music that is an alternative to what mainstream radio deems as “popular” than go to Shine.FM to start. it’s a radio station from the Chicago area. you can dial it in at 89.7 in the chicagoland area. unfortunately their is not a great station in St. Louis. the one that is available does not come in well.

there are many stations that can be streamed from the internet, includeing Shine.FM. please contact me if you want to know more, or need help finding something. i’m going to put more resources up when i get a chance.

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2 responses

8 08 2006
LibNorth

In response:

There are obviously risks involved with sexual behavior at any age, in terms of health or a possible unwanted change in your familial situation, however there are also situations where sex is obivously healthy and important in all of our lives. That being said, we all hope that young teens are not engaging in behavior that risks them harm in any way. However, to make a causal connection, as the researchers have in the mentioned study, between music and sexual activity is at best questionable and irrelevent and at worst, damaging and dishonest. (I encourage you to read the study here: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/eletters/118/2/e430)

The research controls for many factors in their methodology. These controls are for parental monitoring, socio-economic factors, religiosity, among others. With these controls in place, the researchers can confidently point out a correlative relationship. The problem occurs when they try to make the jump from corralative to a probable causative relationship.

There is absolutely no evidence that suggests that it is the music’s influence that is pushing the teens to increased rates of sexual behavior. There is no reason that the cause could not be reversed. The teens sexual behavior, or earlier interest in and curiosity about, could just as easily influence their musical tastes. I would argue that if a teen finds that sexual behavior is inappropriate at their age, they are far less likely to listen to sexually explicit or degrading music.

These fallacies aside, we need to look at the how the media and cultural commentators have latched onto this and run with it as evidence of our newly corrupted society. No doubt, much more corrupt than when said commentators were teenagers. There has been very little questioning of methodology or even observation of the simplest flaws or caveats. As the researchers use caution to use “may” or “may be” often in their study write-up, news outlets and columnists have left this out, preferring to cite the study as proof of a causative relationship. Youth music has always been too sexually charged for their adult contemporaries. This is not to say that teens shouldn’t be guided towards music that doesn’t reinforce a degrading and disrespectful attitude toward women and sexuality. However, to blame media (radio, tv, movies, etc.) is to paint a picture of a boogeyman for society’s ills. This demonization of an “other” is the incredibly easy way out.

It also paints a panic-laden picture of teen sexuality in America. The knee-jerk reactions on the right about this problematic study (or at the very least, problematic conclusions) are dishonest to the statistics that show that teen sexual behavior is actually on the decline. Percentage of teens that had ever had sexual intercourse was down from 1991-2005. Numbers that had had sex with 4 or more people was down in the same period. Percentage currently sexually active was down. These stats are from the CDC and can be found here:

http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/yrbs/pdf/trends/2005_YRBS_Sexual_Behaviors.pdf

If we do believe this study, however, it sure does make risky sexual behavior in teens easy to control. We’ll just ban any music deemed “too sexy.”

9 08 2006
andy

this is why i love you.

i am going to stand by my feelings that today’s media is influencing kids. what you put into your heart shows up in your thoughts actions and deeds.

of course it is logical to see that a sexually active youth would select sexually explicit music. but is it not likely that a youth who is not familiar with this type of behavior would listen to a few of these songs and start to think about thing he/she had never thought of. what about the kid who is not sure who he/she is? the music tells them what is the acceptable thing to do. these are the kids who are at risk of being influenced.

of course there is music out there that speaks against this behavior, and that is why i offered the alternative.

the problem is not the music, the movies, or the music videos. there will always be sin and evil in the world to influence all of us. the problem is our hearts and what we allow into them and the choices we make when presented with temptation. so the answer, as suggested if we believe this research, is not to ban music that is deemed “too sexy”. the answer is to provide alternatives, and reach out to the hearts of the youth to help them deal with all the things they get impacted with and guide them towards making wise choices. it is a much harder task than simply banning music.

the hearts of our youth, that is where the war is happening. you cannot deny, with or without research, that our lives are bombarded everyday with explicit and innapropriate words, sounds, and images. it has always been that way. the difference is, with every passing generation, the tolerance level goes down and we become numb to what is unacceptable, so it becomes acceptable for the next generation. the one after that will see and hear more, and the cycle will continue…

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