Rap Music...Does It Cause Violence?
Music is prominent in adolescents’ lives. Teenagers spend between four and five hours a day listening to music and watching music videos. They name music as their preferred non-school activity (www.mediascope.org). “It forms the background of car rides and social gatherings, and it also informs the adolescent about the adult world through the lens of artists’ lives, language and role modeling” (Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter 2003).
No longer are rock stars the ones that young people look up to. Rather they have been replaced by young hip-hop stars and rappers who drive fast cars, wear expensive jewelry, date beautiful women, and fight amongst themselves to see who can come out on top. The lyrics in their songs are harsh. They speak of gang life, life in the ghetto, gunfights, drug use, and they often degrade women. Yet wherever one turns these songs and being played over and over again on the radio and the music videos are being show on TV. As harsh as they may be they are in fact the real lives of many of these stars.
Susan Buttross, MD, FAAP, chief of child development and the University of Mississippi Medical Center and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics (as cited by Kirchheimer)say
According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (as cited in the Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter 2003) researchers from Iowa State University and the Texas Department of Human Services looked at five experiments involving over 500 college students that examined the effects of seven violent songs by seven artists and eight non-violent songs by seven artists. After listening to the songs, students were given various psychological tests to measure aggressive thoughts and feelings, such as having them classify words that can have both aggressive and non-aggressive meanings. Results showed that violent songs led to more aggressive interpretations...