Sexual song lyrics lead to earlier sex

August 7, 2006

U.S. teenagers who listen to music with sexually degrading lyrics tend to begin having sex at an earlier age, a Rand Corp., study published Monday said.

Rand researchers surveyed 1,461 adolescents ages 12 to 17 across the nation in 2001, then did follow-up interviews with them one and three years later.

The study found sexually degrading lyrics are related to changes in adolescents' sexual behavior. Such lyrics depict men as sexually insatiable, women as sexual objects, and sexual intercourse as inconsequential.

The findings held true for boys and girls as well as for whites and non-whites, even after accounting for a wide range of other personal and social factors associated with adolescent sexual behavior.

"These portrayals objectify and degrade women in ways that are clear, but they do the same to men by depicting them as sex-driven studs," said Steven Martino, a Rand psychologist who led the study.

The study appears in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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