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Rock and rap music have been perceived by some people to be the cause of increased violent and other anti-social behavior especially to the young people. Some argue that such perception is an overstatement as there are many other factors inbuilt in human beings that precipitate their misbehaviors. Crime in society is caused by a wide variety of factors. According to Michael Moore an Oscar award winner and author of Bowling for Columbine, the system has been organized in a manner that it attracts and perpetuates crime in the society.
The US has a record of so many deaths due to gun use. Extensive fear is imposed on the masses. To Moore, the current killings are not due to poverty, unemployment or diversity in ethnicity. The mass media can be blamed for the situation. It is responsible for instilling in the people’s mind that violence is appropriate. Development of a gun culture is also to blame for the increase killings.
It is very easy to access and own a gun in US. The system has enabled extensive gun ownership on the grounds of self-defense. (Moore M, 2002)
However, this viewpoint is contradictory as other countries have easy access and ownership of guns but they do not experience the rates of killings that the US faces. The blame could be put on action movies, rock stars with their music and video games but other societies have this too. Rock artists like Marilyn Manson do not agree that music is to blame for increased deaths.
Marilyn is blamed on the increased violence especially in schools. Though the music does not actually cause the death per ser it instills hostility in the children minds as it could be misinterpreted.
Parents are failing in their role to raise responsible children. It is irresponsible to delegate the guidance role to the media. Guidance ought to be given to such children so that they can rationally sieve what is right from what is wrong from the media. Inequalities between the rich and the poor is a clear problem in the US where by more concerns are raised when the impact is on the rich. It creates the impression that poor is worthless and deserves no respect. Proponents of rap music argue that rap music does not in any circumstance command or direct people to choose violence.
Liability to distinguish what is false or fiction from reality would lead to more youths being engaged in crime or other anti-social behavior. People should be rational enough to see the effects of their behavior on the society at large. (Moore M, 2002) Some rap music portrays women as the weaker sex and they are viewed as prostitutes to be used as sexual objects. Some artists can be bad influence though not all. The generalization that all rock or rap music causes criminal activities is an understatement as some sing on values and morals that are needed for good citizenship.
Rap music can encourage promiscuous behavior especially because most artists use vulgar language on sensitive issues and they also portray nude women. Some teenagers may identify themselves with the women in such movies or videos resulting to increased promiscuity. Women in such movies who are depicted as whores do so to earn their living and they cannot be crucified for that. Respective government ought to work hard to improve their system to accommodate more people in the job market. (Wingwood et al, 551) The youthful generation is thrilled by the entertainment sector.
Music influences behavior regardless the age gender or ethnicity. Greater impact is on those with little or no determined values. Some rappers are considered “cool” and are consequently very influential on attitudes on fashion, sex and violence. Poor children or youngsters from the minority groups lack proper role models as they grow up. They may turn to music for values determination and identification. Parents should install morals on their children so that the music has no space for that. Homes that are not well organized contribute to change in internalizing morals.
Bad company at school and the teenagers exposed to vulgar information are more likely to engage in sexual activities at an earlier stage. However this viewpoint is counteracted by the argument that those who allow music to form their reasoning were initially affected. This is to say that rap music would add ‘promiscuous’ behavior to those already in that capacity. (Anderson A et al, 90) Rock music has since a long time ago been associated with the youth and antisocial behavior like rebellion. It was initially meant to create more awareness in the society.
Rock and roll was feared to promote aggression, bigotry deviant sexual behavior, homicide and drug use. Rap music has its roots in the African music and hence viewed as rising to fit their appropriate needs or to raise their needs. Rap music has been blamed for not only degrading women but also for the increased sexual behavior among youngsters. This has other effects like unwanted pregnancies and spread of diseases. Increased sexual behavior could be due to the words used in the songs as well as the obscene pictures.
Men are portrayed as sexually insatiable and sex is seen as inconsequential. Teenagers may act on the messages communicated, as they are very specific on the sex roles. Girls repeatedly exposed to these songs are likely to take submissive roles and allow the disrespectful treatment from their partners. Boys are likely to internalize the portrayed roles of exploiting girls and consider such acts as normal. (Stephens D & Few L, 251) Censorship would be inappropriate for the young adults but parents should offer guidance to their children as a step to install morals.
Listening to their side of story so that the communication is 2-way would help them better understand the content of such music and thus enable them react accordingly. Although allowing the African America musicians to have a voice was a way of accepting and respecting the views of a minority race, the content of their songs was alarming and raised much attention. Exposure to these songs before children are of age will have detrimental effects on the children. (Hayes G, 12)
According to a research by Ralph J. Diclementle, PHD of Emory University School of public health, girls who listened to rap music or watched rap videos were more likely to indulge in anti-social behavior. (Fox R, 2) Many teenagers are attracted to hip hop and rap music especially from artists like Kanye west, Snoop Dogg and Timbaland. The hip hop music is attractive due to its beats and catchy rhythms. Rap music consists of more rhymes and poetry. Hip hop is more attractive because the beats are attractive. Most of the teenagers are attracted by the beats and the fact that it is danceable.
The lyrics are also quite catchy. Rap music can have positive effects on the listeners for instance it can cause a creative mindset and incorporate different styles and trends. Rock music is popular to people of all ages. Its beats, lyrics and tones attract a number of people. Many parents disregard hip hop music and link it with discrimination against women, bad influence and violence. However many parents accommodate rock music because they are familiar with it as most of them grew up with it. Rock music is not as danceable as hip hop and most people sing it along or listen to it.
Hard rock is loud and preferred mostly by the young people while many due to its softness prefer soft rock. Rappers are accused of not producing quality music since they do not emphasize on information or educative music. They instead of clearing the stereotype reinforce it by their music for instance Notorious BIG’s song that he is ‘considered a fool because he dropped out of high school’ others claim to ‘drop out of school for the big wallets’. They offer confusing information to the young generations who may think that there is an easy way of life.
This could precipitate violence when such people become over ambitious but lack the means to attain their goals. However not all rap artists discard education, some like J- Live who was previously a teacher knows the value of education and instills it to his listeners through his music. Unlike BIG, J-live tells the young to ‘load their brains’. (Johnson J et al, 30) Some rap music can be beneficial. It teaches people using real life experience. This way people can be able to learn from other people’s mistakes or good deeds and hence respond accordingly.
Some rap artists warn on the effects of drug use while insisting on the advantages of hard work. This instills on the teenager or youths the importance of hard work. It can be inspirational as it tells of never quitting regardless of the tough times a head. Gangster rap portrays the way of life in the urban nature, which is at times violent. It tries to impose that to survive in this kind of environment people need to consider their own self interests which at times entails taking the law in their hands. Money and power are portrayed as basis for respect in society.
Gangsta rap praises the evildoer who does not abide to laws or regulation. It results to increased violence because it seems to praise or support crime, drug and killings. (Anderson A et al, 965) The answers to whether rap music affects behavior depend on who is answering it. Supporters of rap like the artists would claim that their music only portrays what is actually happening in the society. However the effect of rap music on behavior is similar to the effects of pornography and video games. Lack of evidence that rap music actually results to violence or promiscuous behavior makes the claim quite weak.
These music creates a resigned mode where there seems to be no hope for society due to an adamant attitude towards social change. It could have positive impacts if people thought of what became of their society and what can be done to improve. The rap music containing violence may affect youth’s behavior; it may create a greater acceptance of the use of violence where they embrace it as a way of life or something normal. Rappers advocate for their songs by saying that being silent about what is actually happening in the society does not solve the problem.
To them the music is a reflection of the frustration and pain that is faced in the ‘ghetto-life’. Music artists are viewed as heroes and teenagers, yearn to be like them. Some end up committing suicide, homicide on public shootings to prove they can be like their heroes. Research has showed that excessive exposure to sexual activity influences the teen’s perception to sex and this could lead to more indulgence in risky and sexual activities. Music does affect people’s behavior in many ways including the subconscious mind and consequently influences people’s view on the society. Music can be used to alter moods.
Just as it is used to encourage or motivate athletes it can increase violence. To the rappers the music reflects, distills and amplifies the social realities at its primary or basic level and then reincorporates it into that reality. To them the outsiders or those away from the ghetto cannot understand them since the do not understand their plight. The society has maintained inequalities that have adverse effects on its people. Teenagers who listen to lots of music especially rap which may consist of degrading sexual messages are more likely to start sex indulgence earlier than their counterparts without such exposure.
Rock and rap artists are at times convicted of violence. For instance Snoop Dogg had an incidence with the law enforcement officers due to violence. Since the young people may consider him a hero they may indulge in violent activities to ape him. A research by a Rand Corporation and published by the American Journal of Public Health, found that adolescents who listened more to this music progressed faster into indulging to sexual behavior than those who did not listen to such music. Listening to such music affects all adolescents regardless of their gender or ethnicity.
Music therefore plays an important role in the psyche of young adults. (Barongan C & Hall GCN,195) A research also showed that teenage African American girls who were exposed to rap videos or music were more likely to abuse alcohol and engage in promiscuous behavior. Their body image would be negative and the chances of having multiple partners could be higher. Greater awareness and education is needed on the risks involved or associated to the media exposure. Evidence of more African American involved in violent or criminal behavior can be seen in their numbers in prison.
Rap artists are disgusting to some when they talk of women degradation when they boast of having enough women at their disposal. The adolescent age is where teenagers are establishing their identity and the kind of music they listen to affects their identity. Peer influence reinforces the trend of music teenagers will be accustomed to. Another aspect that rap music portrays is killing of the police and black-to-black violence where killing-using guns is deemed appropriate. It is considered racist music that tries to fight corruption and discrimination from the dominant white society.
The community so created is hopeless and results to drugs violence and promiscuity, which in turn results to teen pregnancy. (Anderson A et al, 85) Several scholars’ doctors and researchers did the study on African American women in 1996-1999 and the effect of music. Girls exposed to rap music were more likely to take drugs, have problems with the law and are prone to sexually transmitted diseases. According to the researchers, girls who were more exposed to rap music were more likely to hit a teacher, get arrested and have sex with multiple partners.
Parents’ failure to monitor the teens and the frustrations of lack of job opportunities precipitated the violence further. (Wingwood G & Disclemente L, 433) Sociologists have also established that music affects the health, attitudes and behavior of teenagers. They not only listen to the music but also live it. Music is used to express ideas or narrate stories. On average teens listen to music approximately 40 hours in a week. The hours daily provide ample time to change their perception about life. Not all teens understand what the music really means and different teens have varied meanings to the words in such songs.
Censoring such music to protect the innocent teenagers would not bear much fruit. This is because it would be faced by much protects on the grounds of hindering or being against the freedom of expression rights. Again, even when the music is not played in the radio stations it is still played elsewhere and thus it is still accessible. Due to peer influence it would be hard to monitor and prohibit what one’s children listen to. An appropriate measure would be to explain the consequences of what the music is all about and engage the children in critical thinking.
For music to have a positive or negative effect on an individual, the individual must have a certain degree of affinity in it. Personal choice forms a critical part in such decision-making. However, the use of visuals reinforces what is heard. Studies show that rap music could affect men’s perception towards women to the extent where after women are raped they could argue that the women provoked the men by way of dressing. A study carried out in a college campus in the U. S where men and women were exposed to rap music both hard and soft that involved questionnaires on their perception to songs that were gender biased.
Men were proved to react more to stereotypes after exposure to such music and videos. Women proved to be more accommodating and submissive to the male. Words commonly raised include bitches and whores and this attracts the attention of quite a number of people. Exposure to rap music comprises of violence for instance murder. (Cole J & Gy Shefall, 40) In 2000, the American academy of pediatrics issued a joint statement on the effects of violence through entertainment means on children. It made this conclusion connection between aggressive character and violence in the media.
In the studies reports were made from the general office as well as the mental health department that the government should put in place policies that would protect its people, as the media violence would ruin it. (AAPCC, 315) According to Leonard a psychologist the effects of violence of the TV and aggression is cumulative. The effect of rap music leads to aggression in one’s later life. However it is difficult to tell if music actually influences sexual promiscuity, drug use or violent behavior in cases where the teens do not comprehend the meaning of the lyrics.
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