Grandma was right, music can have an influence on teen sexting habits | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

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ETX Daily Up

From Marvin Gaye to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, there are countless artists who reference sex openly in their songs. Daring, risqué lyrics often appeal to young people but it’s a phenomenon that is not without consequences on their sexual behavior, according to a recent American study.

A US-based research team looked at the impact of sexually explicit songs on youth. To conduct their study, they gave cell phones to 278 teenagers living in Texas. They also asked the teens to fill out questionnaires about their music preferences and favorite artists, so that the researchers could analyze the content of the songs they listened to.

Previous research has shown that sex is one of the most common themes in contemporary music, prompting Savannah L. Keenan-Kroff and her colleagues to speculate that young people are particularly exposed to such topics and related language given that they spend an average of two to four hours a day listening to music.

The results of their experiment, recently published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, proved their hypothesis right. The scientists found that boys are more likely to listen to risqué songs than girls, especially when they are around 18 years old.

This craze for explicit songs has repercussions on their sexting habits, ie, sending photos or messages of a sexual nature. In other words, teens approaching the age of majority and listening to explicit songs were sexting more than others.

“[Our study] provides the first evidence that listening to sexual lyrics in music is associated with future sexting behavior among male adolescents. These results suggest that boys may be especially susceptible to lyrical messages regarding sexuality, which may be, in part, due to gendered sexual expectations,” the study reads.

While there are several limitations to this study, the researchers say it should encourage parents to create a dialogue with their children about sex, so that their knowledge on the topic doesn’t come solely from pop culture.

“Such dialogue will, hopefully, prevent sexting behaviors while also generating less rigid gender expectations surrounding sexuality, fostering a healthier environment for adolescent identity development,” the team concludes.