Synthesis Paper on Rap Music Essay

Eng112 Laura Funk 10/27/2012 Negative effects of Rap Music on Teenagers I strongly believe that you need to give your children the freedom to make their own choices in the paths they take in their lives. If you don’t they might rebel and make poor choices that can lead to a poor lifestyle. Although you do have to step in every once in a while but I believe you need to make these interferences in their lives a very rare occasion. For instance when it comes to negative rap music and their videos; I believe a parent needs to step in and explain to the child why they shouldn’t watch this type of music video or listen to this type of music.

And also shield the child to the best of their power. According to the article The Impact of Rap and Hip-Hop Music on American Youth written by abkoobthoj; Rap music has a negative effect on America’s youth. In the article abkoobthoj talks about a study done which they took 700; 15 year olds and one third of them listened to sexually explicit rap music and two thirds listened to degrading music about sex. Each child was asked about their sexual thoughts after listening to the music and almost all of them had degrading thoughts about sex.

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Rap music videos also have an impact on sexual ideas young teens have about the opposite sex according to the article written by Sarah Hopkins called The Negative impact of music videos. Sexy dancing moves and sexy styles are catching the attention of young teenage girls and these young girls are then imitating these dance moves and the sexy way to dress and are sending the wrong message to young teenage boys. It doesn’t take much for these young teenage boys with their high hormone levels to get sexually explicit ideas in their heads.

Some of these teenagers act on these ideas which lead to premarital sex and can lead to diseases and infections. In the article Rap Music’s psychological effects by Jennifer Copley she states that in a study teenage boys who listened to or read rap music with sexually explicit lyrics were more openly to express their adversarial sexual beliefs. Another study found that young women who watched a rap video with a woman in a sexual subordinate role were more likely to accept violence in their dating relationship. Rap artists usually also rap about drugs and alcohol.

Abkoobthoj said if it is a drug the adolescent has not heard of they may become curious and try it. He also states how many rap artist become advertisers of alcohol and teenagers who looks up to these rappers see them endorsing this beverage and think it is cool so they may become more susceptible to start drinking. Copley believes that although after starting to listen and view rap videos there is a rise in adolescent drug and alcohol abuse; that the problem starts before the rap music is introduced into the child’s life. This shows Copley that the music doesn’t influence the drugs and alcohol.

Rap lyrics that talk about violence can be a trigger for young adolescents to become violent. Abkoobthoj believes that the violent lyrics rap music holds can be a gateway for teens to start fighting, stealing, or even kill. A lot of adolescents who live in low income areas especially African American males already come from violence or see violence in their daily lives; and hearing the violent lyrics may make them act out violently. Copley believes more so that it isn’t the lyrics but the violent music videos which cause teenagers to act out violently.

The videos cause tHe teenagers to act out violently especially among women. They also cause teenagers to idolize materialistic things and when they don’t have the money to buy them they usually go out and steal and some of those crimes they will use violence. An example would be using a gun or a knife to commit the crime. Hopkins also agrees that the lyrics and the videos instill the power of violence in young impressionable minds. Hopkins has a couple examples from people who have done experiments with the effect of violent lyrics on young minds and each study came up with different theories.

One said there wasn’t enough eveidence to link it, another one said there is enough evidence, and the others felt like the lyrics combined with outside factors can lead to violent actions. According to Copley there has been a study that proves that rap music lowers a student’s academics. But there was also another study done showing that white students who watched rap music videos were getting better grades academically and also showed that they were more willing to accept a black liberal as a politician.

Hopkins believes that the rap videos can interfere with academics because sometimes the students start almost becoming obsessed with the videos and the music and start slipping in their school work. Also they may start to act out the violence in the videos which can lead to missing school. Abkoobthoj didn’t say anything about the effects on academics with teenagers who listen to or watch rap videos; but he did state teenagers who listen to rap are more prone to using slang words in their daily lives.

He believes the reason for this is they here the slang in the rap songs and the teenagers look up to those rap artists; so therefore they start using the slang in their daily lives. The problem with them using the slang all the time is they start forgetting what is grammatically correct and start not just talking like it but writing in slang. In a way it shows that it can affect their academics. Copley states that there has been a study to prove that listening to rap has not been linked to suicidal ideation, anxiety, or affect a person’s self-esteem.

But oddly listening to non-violent rap songs showed an increase in depression symptoms. Abkoobthoj believes that rap music does put negative thoughts in a adolescents head and may cause depressive thoughts and suicidal thoughts. Abkoobthoj thinks that certainly low income African American males who may have access to guns may be more at risk for the suicidal thoughts or suicidal attempts which can all be tied back to listening to rap and watching violent rap videos.

According to Hopkins there has been correlation with teenagers watching these rap videos and then very shortly after they commit suicide; but the music is not usually the culprit according to Hopkins. It usually has other factors like despair and if a teenager is accessible to guns or has issues with drug abuse. But Hopkins also agrees that the music videos can show young men and women in “perfect shape” which can lead to body issues. The issues they can cause are issues such as, anorexia or bulimia which can lead to no self-worth or respect which can lead to suicidal thoughts or suicidal attempts.

All of these writers agree that rap can also be used for positive things. Abkoobthoj believes that rap artists that use nonviolent lyrics and who rap about positive things can be a role model. Certainly when so many kids look up to rap artists he believes that more rap artists should rap about more positive things so the kids do have a more positive role model. Abkoobthoj also believes they don’t need to use so much slang, violence, sexual innuendoes, or vulgar language.

According to Copley it isn’t so much the lyrics that give a negative impact on the young kids but the violent and sexually vulgar material the music videos hold. She believes that if they just stop making the music videos then there wouldn’t be a problem with rap music anymore. Hopkins believes that although rap music videos have their positive attributes and can be educational she has a hard time finding the positives in the rap music. And Hopkins believes that the negatives outweigh the positives. I believe that rap artists are to blame and not the music.

The artist should not be trying to sell the vulgar stuff to the youth of our country. It is some of the cause for the violence, sexually crazed teenagers, body image problems, and drug and alcohol use in the youth of America. Overall I believe that the artist should still be able to make that kind of music just not try to sell it to young teenagers. They should sell things that can educate our kids on the right choices they can make in their life and not always focus on the negative. Maybe just maybe a rap artist can be a positive role model.