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Idol Chatter

First Al Gore was right about the environment, and now Tipper Gore and her Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) may have been right about those explicit lyrics warning labels!?

A recent study by the Rand Corp. showed that “teens who said they listened to lots of music with degrading sexual messages were almost twice as likely to start having intercourse or other sexual activities within the following two years as were teens who listened to little or no sexually degrading music.”

And while much popular music is full of blatant sexuality, the songs depicting men as “sex-driven studs” and women as “sex objects” (a.k.a. bitches and hos) seem to have the most impact on teens’ sexual development.

“Exposure to lots of sexually degrading music ‘gives them a specific message about sex,'” lead author Steven Martino told the AP. “‘We think that really lowers kids’ inhibitions and makes them less thoughtful’ about sexual decisions and may influence them to make decisions they regret, he said.”

The report doesn’t mention if any of the songs used in the study are part the recent rash of euphemistic, yet still sexually explicit, songs from the female point of view, including such hits as Kellis’ “Milkshake” and The Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps,” in which a girl uses a little T&A to get some Dolce & Gabbana.

Of course, other researchers felt “factors including peer pressure, self-esteem, and home environment are probably more influential than the research suggests.”

“When somebody has a healthy sense of themselves,” notes Yvonne K. Fulbright, a New York-based sex researcher and author, “they don’t take these lyrics too seriously.”

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