Sexualized lyrics in popular music can have a deleterious effect on the sexual behavior and attitudes of adolescents, according to a new study.
The findings provide food for thought for educators whose focus is to promote healthy sexual development.
"Considering previous research establishing an association between sexualized music lyrics and adolescent sexual behavior, our findings unfortunately offer sexuality educators a stormy forecast," said lead author Cougar Hall.
Previous research has indicated that there is a strong link between exposure to sexual media (on screen and in music) and sexual activity.
The new study has found that teens tend to overestimate the sexual activity of their peers and one source of this misperception is the entertainment media.
For girls in particular, sexual references in songs can lead them to think that their value to society is to provide sexual pleasure for others, leading to poor body image, depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse, the report said.
The study has been published online in Springer's journal Sexuality and Culture.