Warning- reading this could give you an STD

by Jason Gross

23 August 2006


Think it was funny and/or disgusting when the religious right crowed that gays and lesbians caused the September 11th attacks.  Well, prepare to barf again.  It turns out that hip-hop and dance music can be bad for your health: Researchers link music tastes to HIV risks.  I guess that means that if you just listen to classical music and have promiscuous relationships, you’re in the clear, right?  It was easy to laugh at this ridiculous study until a lot of publications deemed it worthy to report on.  See why people don’t trust the media? 
Let’s take a look at the background of the researcher who headed this study:

“Currently, he leads two ethnographic research projects: one explores the relationship between Hip Hop culture and ideologies of masculinity, and its effects in shaping the sexual health of ethnic minority men…”

Translation: he’s already putting a lot of time and money into this study.  His hyphothesis is pretty slanted and prejudiced (not just racially) to begin with plus he would look like a damn fool in the science community if he spent all that time on this and DIDN’T find there was a connection between hip-hop and sociopathic behavior.

Not that this is the first or even the most recent study to come to such easy conclusions: Study says teens who listen to raunchy songs have sex earlier  The best answer to that comes from the Borowitz Report:
“Elsewhere, a study shows that teenagers who listen to music with raunchy, sexual lyrics are more likely to have sex than those who do not, while teenagers who watch “CSI” are more likely to solve crimes.”

The fact is that it’s not just easy to pick on hip-hop when so many self-appointed moral guardians do so and make it into an easy scapegoat but these kind of headlines also attract eyeballs.  They’re meant to boil the blood of soccer moms who’ll then tell their kids that they can’t listen to “that music.”  And it also helps self-perpetuate all the moral crusades against this music too.  Plus since it involves s-e-x, it’s a natural to attract the attention of the readers.  Furthermore, it provides an easy out for parents to pinpoint what’s going wrong with their kids, as opposed to harder facts about their lives.

But I have to say that these studies do inspire me to do some work on my own.  I’m going to start my own study where I’m going to find out if there’s a correlation between penny-ante scientists and half-baked sociological conclusions.  Anyone want to fund this?

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