Music has always played a very significant role in people’s culture and development. Since ancient times it was the way of sending hidden messages and reaching the desirable audience, sometimes even to make people do something. For instance, one can easily observe that his/her mood changes greatly when listening to certain song or track. Moreover, it is not a secret anymore that certain type of music is used in commercials in order to make listeners buy certain products or services. Basically, music is one more way of mass media that manipulates people greatly without them even realizing it.
Let us move upon sexual content of the music which can have certain influence on one’s sexuality and his/her sexual behavior. Studies have proven the fact that sexuality really depends on the music person listens to. Usually teens spend 1,5 – 2 hours daily listening to music. Most of these songs do have sexual context (it can be some romantic issues as well as explicit sexual themes) and, thus, are likely to have impact on the sexuality of those people who listen to them. As a result, songs where some details of sexual act are depicted or women are described as sexual objects are more likely to lead to early intercourse with all its negative consequences than those which are about romantic relationships and do not show off sexual references in a very explicit manner. Likewise, very often such songs not only contain lyrics about sexual behavior and some hints about intercourse, but they are also supported by music videos which usually demonstrate open sexuality in order to attract attention.
Consequently, after watching such movies and listening to lyrics about sexual experience, girls start their sexual life very early and, what makes the matter worse, it is usually unsafe sex. As for boys, after watching movies that contain some violent sexual scenes, they become less sympathetic to those who have experienced sexual violence. As the matter of fact, a lot of people are exposed to messages given by the music and, thus, are inclined to copy things they see and hear about. Especially it concerns teenagers, who have great desire to try something new, to copy their idols, to become adults and, finally, to be cool. It has already been found out that men who listen to music or watch music videos with sexually suggestive content have the level of testosterone increased and this causes being more sexually active and having many partners. In the same manner if lyrics or video is about sexual violence, no wonder if person starts behaving aggressively to his/her partner.
Without a doubt, different type of music evokes different feelings in people. In the same manner, different level of sexuality may be caused by music. As an illustration, jazz listeners are 34% more sexually active than pop fans. Those who prefer classical music are considered to have the lowest level of sexuality. I cannot but mention about rock’n’roll music which is usually associated with sex and drugs – to my mind, exactly this type of music has given a strong impetus to establishment and progressive extension of sexual revolution.
Music, lyrics and music videos have also a lot to do with the establishment of sexual stereotypes. While men are depicted in modern videos as very strong, rich and powerful creature, women usually represent victims of men, sexual objects who always desire sexual intercourse or involved in sexually suggestive career. As an illustration, it is enough to watch 50 Cent’s video ‘Candy shop’ which contains sexual imagery in lyrics, music and video. It also depicts the stereotype that black men are sexual aggressors and white women, as usual, are their victims.
One may argue with the fact that there is no way for our sexuality not to be influenced by music or music videos. I can argue with that point of view, as it is well-known fact that we are under media pressure whether we realize it or not. Basically, what music does is creating a chain of images or evoking certain associations in our mind. These associations may be also connected with the video for this specific song which one has seen before. If this video has contained any sexual imagery, consequently while listening to the song it will automatically arose some sexual desire. Moreover, there are obviously biological reasons that lead to changing one’s sexuality with the help of music. First of all, our feelings and reactions mostly depend on auditive rather than visual stimuli, as a result, we are more likely to be affected by music than, for example, a painting. Furthermore, it is believed that people get used to rhythm starting from the period they are in womb as they are able to hear mother’s heartbeat and breathing. This is the reason why vast majority of people like a musical tempo of 70-100 beats per minute – a healthy human adult’s heartbeat. Harmonies and disharmonies music combinations are said to stimulate the blood pressure’s fluctuation, consequently, it reflects on our feelings.
That is why listening to songs about degrading sex and sex experience or any sexual content may cause sexual arousal.
Nevertheless, it is still possible to reduce music’s negative effect on teenagers or people of any age. If talking about teens, it is necessary to keep in mind that their sexuality is the one that can be influenced by music more than anybody’s. As the matter of fact, teenagers perceive music as their own world and that is why try to have its reflection in reality. What I am trying to say is that sexual imagery (usually negative as I have already mentioned) in songs they listen to is a very bad example for their further sexual behavior. Obviously, parents always want to know what their children’s interests are, who their friends are and what kind of music they prefer. Unfortunately, here is the thing – parents only want to know, but in reality do not have enough time to get acquainted with their child’s IPod track list. In fact, music remains a source for children to learn about their role models, how they should behave and say. I personally consider parents to be key solution of sexuality problems which could be caused by music. If parents pay enough attention to what their child listens to, they would be able to define music that has destructive effects and, perhaps, they would be able to persuade the child try another kind of music.
Let us turn to few positive effects that music with sexually suggestive content may have on people. First of all, sexual revolution and, thus, music that was changing with its spreading have established liberal attitude towards sex and any sexual experiences. Though, I am pretty sure that conservatives will argue with me at the point that I consider it to be positive effect. Though I think that if someone does not want to see lesbians or gays in our society, it does not mean they do not exist and they are also people who want to have their rights and want to be respected. Furthermore, music which can have its influence on someone’s sexuality automatically drew attention to itself making scientists and other people think about what we listen to and what we allow our children to listen. Moreover, much more toleration of sexual harassment has been raised in our society. Unfortunately, none of these positive effects of sexual revolution cannot prevent bad influence of music with explicit or implicit sexually suggestive content on people.
As far as I am concerned, we should take some actions in order to reduce establishing sexual stereotypes, early teen intercourses, unsafe sex with all its negative consequences and degrading sexual behavior. Unless the society understands the whole danger that is drawn to one’s sexuality just listening to ‘harmless’ song, no changes for better can be done. To my mind, the first thing that needs to be done is choosing music we listen to very gingerly, paying attention to its context. It may sound corny, though we also need to control our media which provides our society with a lot of junk music and music videos that may lead to sick sexual behavior or even sexual abuse. That is why it is so essential for us to be more responsible for music and music videos (as well as any kind of media) we are producing and spreading via any media means.
All in all, I am absolutely sure that music and music videos that include any hints about sex and sexual behavior have its negative effects as well as positive ones on person’s sexuality. Consequently, music is a very significant part of our life making our hearts beat faster and affecting our emotions greatly. Thus, we shall respect music and ourselves and let us listen only to high-quality music which will make us better and give us only positive and useful esthetical pleasure. Let us listen to that music only which will influence our sexuality in the way we want it to be influenced.