The Impacts of Violent Music on Children and Teenagers
Music contributes significantly to the socialization of teenagers and children. In the contemporary society, music can be found through many avenues such as radios, the Internet, television, recordings, and other new technologies, which allow the teenagers and children to listen to it in diverse environments. Furthermore, with the emergence of new technologies, it is a challenge for parents to monitor or become aware of the kinds of songs that their youngsters listen (Browne & Hamilton-Giachritsis, 2005). The increase in the use of headphones and downloaded music makes the problem even harder to many parents. Cumulatively, the above factors make children and many adolescents to have access to many genres of music, and some may have adverse effects on them. Precisely, violent music has become common, children tend to listen to them, and many may not be cognizant of the effects they stand to get from such music. Although music fosters the socialization of children, it has a negative impact on the psychology of its listeners as it might lead to the development of abnormal and risky behavior, aggression, hostility, as well as mental deviations.
The research on violent music has examined its impacts on social interactions, individual behavior, schoolwork, and mood. The consequences that violent music has on adolescents’ and children’s behavior and emotions are of primary concern. The lyrics have increasingly become explicit in their content, and in many occasions, they often refer to sex, drugs, and other violence in many ways (Browne & Hamilton-Giachritsis, 2005). An adolescents’ preference for some violent music could be associated with abnormal behaviors. The effects and perceptions of violent music-video messages are essential since studies suggest that exposure to violence messages, sexual stereotypes, and sexual messages in the music videos may generate considerable changes in attitudes and behaviors of young viewers (Anderson, Gentile, & Buckley, 2007). A content assessment done in 2000 by the National Institute on Media on different violent music found that the songs revolved around negative topics such as death, homicide, sexual promiscuity, violence, and suicides (Browne & Hamilton-Giachritsis, 2005). Thus, when children and adolescents listen to such song, their behavior might significantly change. Some children would attempt to copy some of the explicit and violent messages they hear and see from such songs. Listening and watching such music can affect the development of young viewers.
Similarly, a study released by Carnagey, Anderson, and Eubanks (2003) shows that violent songs increase the aggression associated with emotions and thoughts, and this consequence is straightly connected with the violent message in such songs. In a set of experiment involving more than 500 students, various researchers from the Texas Department of Human Services as well as Iowa State University explored the impacts of different violent songs by many artists (Browne & Hamilton-Giachritsis, 2005). The students were allowed to listen to the songs and issued with different psychological assignments to gauge their aggressive feelings and thoughts on the songs. For instance, one of the tasks needed the students to classify some words that have nonaggressive and aggressive meanings like stick and rock (Carnagey et al, 200). The outcome of the studies revealed that the violent music resulted in forceful explanations of the dubiously aggressive terms, augmented the speed at which the students read nonaggressive versus. aggressive words, as well as increased parts of word fragments (Anderson et al., 2007). The researchers concluded that violent music increased the feelings of hostility even without threat or provocations.
Other studies have also focused on the effects of violent lyrics on the children. The studies have documented that exposure to violent music videos may produce enormous changes in mental development and thinking of the children and adolescents (Anderson et al., 2007). The studies have confirmed that regular watching of violent songs and videos correlated to high dangers of developing false stereotyping beliefs among the children watching them. In studies conducted to explore the effects of youngsters exposed to violent rap songs, the participants reported high chances of engaging in violence, tremendous acceptance of violence, and more acceptances in using violence against women contrary to the participants who were exposed to non-violent rap videos (Browne & Hamilton-Giachritsis, 2005). The evidence shows that constant exposure to violent music may lead to the development of violent thoughts and conduct.
According to Carnagey et al. (2003), violent song fans tend to be moved by the common tendency to pursue thrills and sensation, as well as the need to involve in various risky behaviors. In concurrence with this thesis statement, the researchers report a vast dissimilarity between violent music fans and nonfans. The report shows that not only the pro-violent music fans seek sensation in their expression, but also in their reckless behaviors in their violent actions. Other studies have also shown the same correlation between risky, irresponsible behavior and attitudes and the selection of violent music (Anderson et al., 2007). In fact, youngsters in the juvenile detention are four times likely to be fans of violent music (Browne & Hamilton-Giachritsis, 2005). Therefore, violence expressed in songs may trigger their listeners follow the lifestyle described in the lyrics.
In conclusion, the paper has shown the impacts of violent music on adolescents and children. With the increased avenues of accessing violent music, parents should put more effort to ensure that their children stay safe from watching explicit and violent music videos. The impacts of such music are detrimental. Violent music has an adverse impact on the children’s social interactions, individual behavior, schoolwork, and shift in their psychological mindset.
Anderson, C. A., Gentile, D. A., & Buckley, K. E. (2007). Violent game effects on children and adolescents: Theory, research, and public policy. London, UK: Oxford University Press.
Browne, K. D., & Hamilton-Giachritsis, C. (2005). The influence of violent media on children and adolescents: A public-health approach. The Lancet, 365(9460), 702-710.
Carnagey, C. A., Anderson, N. L., & Eubanks, J. (2003). Exposure to violent media: The effects of songs with violent lyrics on aggressive thoughts and feelings. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(5), 960-971.