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February 24, 2012

I was entering the exam room the other day to perform a routine physical exam for an eleven year old child. Nothing was unusual. Smiling faces from child and mom lifted the spirits and pleasantries were exchanged. What immediately flashed in my eye was a brand new iPhone with bright pink and silver ear plugs attached to the child; nothing unusual.  Since I am a music lover way back to elementary school, I am always curious as to what the young folks are listening to. “Can I listen to what you are hearing, I said.” As the ear phones were placed into my ear, I immediately started tapping and bopping to the rhythm. It was a female rapper. I inquired as to who it was but that info is not pertinent to my main take home message. What was different with this song was that I could clearly hear the words she was saying. What was more surprising was WHAT she was saying!!

I realize sex and all of its subsidiaries are central to lots of rap lyrics. It’s also central to American capitalism.  So to hear about sexual content on a rap lyric is no big thing as long as there is some discretion. What I heard on this piece was absolutely appalling.  The artist began begging her partner to explore and manipulate EVERY orifice of her body with every conceivable part of his body. (This is a nice way of saying that if there was such a thing as audio only pornography, this was it.)  There were no metaphors (which I could have better tolerated) to captivate the art of suggestion. Clear cut wording was what I heard. And by the way, the foul mouth cursing seemed mild compared to the content of her words.

So what is up with this experience?  I continued to bop and tap to conceal my astonishment and slowly removed the ear plugs from my ears. What bothered me was this was an eleven year old girl listening to this in front of her mother. I did not make a big deal out of this then because I had to calm my emotion of shock in order to be balanced. Obviously it continues to bother me so this is why I write about it.

Mom’s and Dad’s, I know you like your music relevant to what you grew up with, but do your own “study” on what your kids are listening to. Ask them to inform you of the latest rappers and video artist. Listen to them TOGETHER with your kids (they may be embarrassed but that’s ok). It’s a good intro into having family discussion about sex anyway. Our culture is such that this kind of entertainment WILL be out there for them no matter what. It is your job to put all of this into context as to:

  1. Maintaining your own morality within a sea of immorality
  2. Understanding that immorality sells
  3. Look at the target audience and surmise what influence media moguls would like to mold you into.

By the time that eleven year old begins his or her introduction to sexuality, there is already a preconceived acceptability about sexual inappropriateness. Sex and sexuality is part of being human. It is a very wonderful and enjoyable entity. I tell this to teenagers. It is a process however and not an immediate act to be followed because famous celebrities (and their money suppliers) promote it. The process should be slowly started by Mother Nature and guided by adults. Only then will the result be a healthy sex life which is important for long term adult committed relationships.

Oh, and by the way, don’t think that I am not going to bring this subject up to the mother I mentioned. I am sure the mom bought the IPOD; she has a right to listen to everything on it!

….talk to you later this Spring….

Dr. “D”

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