Are Rap Videos Turning Young Girls Into Drunken, Stoner Floozies?

Illustration for article titled Are Rap Videos Turning Young Girls Into Drunken, Stoner Floozies?

Researchers studied rap videos and found that they sexualized women, placed too much emphasis on their physical appearance and treated them more as decorative objects rather than "active agents." Uh, doesn't that hold true for most of pop culture and advertising? It's so annoying how rap and hip hop are always being called out for that, when there are plenty of equally (if not more) offensive other influences in the media. Anyway, after interviewing over 500 African-American women (ages 14-18), researchers found that the young women who spent more time watching rap videos were more likely to "binge drink, have sex with multiple partners, test positive for marijuana and have a negative body image." Is it just me, or does that just sound like the life of a majority of teen girls, regardless of race or music video preference? And sure, the negative body image stuff is always bad, but the rest of it actually sounds like tons of fun to me.

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The researchers say that such behavior is influenced by rap videos and that the "glamorized depictions of alcohol use often portrayed in conjunction with sexual imagery and portrayals of drug use are often depicted as normal." Well, for some of us, it is. Especially when you're a teenager interested in experimentation. I don't necessarily believe such behavior — which the researchers labeled as "risky" — is always so bad. The study concluded that there is a "need for greater awareness and education about the risks associated with this media exposure. Maybe people need to stop worrying about sheltering girls and instead focus on teaching boys to start respecting them.

Sexy Rap Videos Suspected To Be Damaging To Young Girls [Reuters, via Feministing]

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DISCUSSION

@SarahMC: -society has always been about protecting the lady-flowers of any race. Punk rock, goth, and now emo are predominately white kid fascinations and I can't remember how many Phil Donahues covering the degradation of our society and the demeaning of girls my mother forced me to sit through when I was young. Since she also confused punk with biker culture (hey, it was simpler times) she would helpfully leave notes on my bed about 20/20s coverage of the Hells Angels raping, torture, and murder of teen runaways. Most of it the fantasy of some tv exec, I'm sure.

I feel that, when it comes to the American belief system, the prevailing sentiment is that boys will be boys (so they get a pass, even when they are a rapist) and girls who like sex are whores (the implication being that girls are smarter *and* that sex is dirty, therefore girls should know better)—no matter what their ethnicity. I don't really see any conspiracy against rap—anything that resonates with the youth is fair game for the housewives/pundits.

The truth is that the topic of sex typically gets less interesting and all-consuming as one ages. And when that happens, people tend to fall into one of two camps: the "have a good time and be safe for one day you too will be worrying about mortgage payments" camp, or the "I can't believe what dirty little sex-addicts those children are. The boys, I understand, cause they have two brains talking to them at the same time, so we'll forgive them, but those girls should know better cause they have the HYMEN"—that shield of skin that's the bane and terror of any teen girl's existence.

This is why I'm a strong believer in early introductions to horseback riding for all girls. It makes their teens years less terror-filled.

Oh, and boys need to be told, repeatedly, by their parents to think with the brain in the big head and treat their girlfriends with respect, but that doesn't make for good TV or attention-getting research, does it?