Billboard's 'Top 20' lyrics
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
The Culture and Media Institute is sounding a music alarm over
the explicit lyrics contained in many top 20 pop songs.
The Institute took a close look at top songs on Billboard magazine
charts over a 14-week period and found that a fourth of the songs
that made the Top 20 sent a message of sexual degradation, and
nearly half included some form of sexual content. Out of the 50
songs examined, 13 were sexually degrading, six contained profanity,
and seven referred to drugs and alcohol.
Colleen Raezler, who helped in the study, says the sexual content
was so pervasive that it was borderline pornographic in nature.
And she contends that the lyrics point to a "coarsening of
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"[The songs] just contained all sorts of terrible messages...,"
says Raezler. "...[T]hings are much more accepted now, and
artists are constantly pushing the envelope trying to be edgy,
to sell records," she reckons. "The controversy really
helps sell records."
Most of the songs examined are listened to by young children.
And Raezler points out that a study published two years ago in
Pediatrics magazine revealed that adolescents who listen to sexually
degrading music are more likely to start intimate behavior.