A new study by the University of Pittsburgh has found that teenagers who listen to music with “explicit and aggressive sexual phrases” are twice as likely to be having sex as people who listen to anything that’s ever passed through my audio system.
The study split 711 teenagers aged 13 to 18 into three groups based on their listening habits, including “regular” which covered those who spent more than 17.6 hours per week listening to the music in question and “not often,” teenagers who spent less than 2.7 hours per week with it. Researchers declined to name specific songs used in the study but said they featured lyrics describing sex as a “physical rather than loving act and also where it was linked to power,” citing as an example the romantic classic, “I’m gonna beat that pussy up.”
The study found that 45 percent of regular listeners had had sex, compared to only 21 percent of those in the “not often” category. “There certainly seems to be a link, but it is hard to say whether listening to music is directly contributing to having sex earlier,” said Dr. Brian Primack, lead researcher on the project. “I am not saying parents should try to ban such music, that is unlikely to help. But they should be talking to their children about sex and putting these sorts of lyrics in context.”
But other experts cautioned against drawing “simplistic” conclusions from the study. A representative of the U.K.-based sexual health charity Brook said, “Obviously the cultural environment plays a part, but that is not to say there is a causal link. It is far too simplistic to say just because someone listens to this music they have sex. There are a variety of factors that influence decisions.”
Indeed there are, but can my extensive collection of Rush and Weird Al CDs and my cold, lonely existence be entirely coincidental? I’m starting to wonder. Somebody pass the Fiddy.