need more stuff?

August 18, 2006

Breaking: music, sex possibly connected

nip_slip_02.jpg I'm trying to make heads or tails of two different, equally crappy wire service reports about a new study linking teenagers' sexual behavior and HIV risk to musical taste. And not having much success.

Part of the problem is that the research seems to have found some music correlated with behavior (amount of sex and number of partners) and others correlated with risk (defined as inconsitent condom use), and the CanWest story plays up the former while the AFP version emphasizes the latter.

But confusion reigns throughout. For instance, did the survey involve "hundreds" of teens (AFP) or "46" (CanWest). And how were music fans divided up? Into two large groups or many small ones? The AFP story says that "A behavioral analysis divided participants into two musical groups: hip hop, reggae, reggaeton, rap and rhythm and blues; and rock, heavy metal, pop, techno, electronic and gospel." But it also says that "Researchers also distinguished between two styles of hip hop: the "bling, bling" hip hop that values fancy cars, money, and many girlfriends; and "real" hip hop that tells of urban youth stricken by violence, poverty and drug abuse." Why make such distinctions if it doesn't determine which group you put people in?

Also, it may be true that "Rock music is less likely to influence the lives of young people, added [lead researcher] Munoz-Laboy, probably because it is marketed in a less sexual manner," but does "rock music" in this case mean the omnibus grouping that also includes "pop," because I'd like to see you tell the Pussycat Dolls that pop isn't marketed in a sexual manner.

Also, why does the AFP version prominently include "gospel" music, while the CanWest one doesn't mention it at all. For that matter, gospel? I'd bet nearly anything that gospel actually means CCM, but that would be an important thing to know, given the completely different audiences for CCM and traditional gospel (are there any young men 16-21 who listen to traditional gospel?).

Naturally neither article links to the actual research, and I can't find it myself. If you come across it, let me know.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


If you're right about CCM then it seems like they divided the kids into "White Music" and "Black Music" groups.

"Reggaeton?" Wikipedia's down so WTF is Reggaeton? If it means Presbyterian Reggae then my theory is shot.

I used to could just look at a girl and she would pull down her panties. For some, it is their words and voice qualities that work the spell. Others find music coupled with their lyrics do the trick. Some add dance, others use milieu. Some add enhancers. Some use the proven pre-packaged works of others.

A google search on the string music sex link returns some 86,800,000.

Why would someone commission such a Rand Study? Are they wanting to package condoms with given CDs?

More likely it is an "outcome oriented" Solution in Search of a Problem designed to carve out more curbs on personal behavior. Words like "vulgar" and "degrading" tip their intent.

Laws ascribing to outlawing particular whole genres of art in pictures and videos (say cp), is much like saying you will not be allowed to listen to music - or a particular style of music. Remember Tipper Gore's Music Warning Labels?

Or like saying, "You will no longer be allowed to see the color red". Or perhaps the prohibition on Dance.

It sucks. Resist. Fight back.

Ok - I'm revisiting this more. Going back to the link within Mark Morford's article, This just in: Raunchy lyrics make teens... it refers to the Rand study [boorish contumely?] as being published in the August issue of Pediatrics. Morford's article links to another article that visits the valence of various players surrounding this fertile tempest.

"'Total Criminalization' was the greatest idea of its time and was vastly popular except with those people who didn't want to be crooks or outlaws. So, of course, they had to be tricked into it... which is one of the reasons why Music was eventually made illegal."

-- Frank Zappa

Radosh, you may have spotted another hot-button fury even before it has had a chance to fester. This topic might get legs enough for mass distraction.

None other than L. Brent Bozell, III, himself, has weighed in with Pop Music's Sex Education

L. Brent Bozell, III? How I miss Frank Zappa and how I miss Lenny Bruce.

In the past week I've seen the 71-year-old Mighty Sparrow sing "Sell the Pussy" while thrusting his roundish midsection and a twentysomething laptop artist mash-up 2Live Crew's "We Want Some Pussy" with Wings' "Silly Love Songs." And I didn't get so much as a handjob, either time.

Oh, and I prefer CanWest's earlier, more obscure sexual behavior study.

Post a comment

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2