I was reading in a New York Times blog that "Teenagers listen to an average of nearly 2.5 hours of music per day". One in three popular songs contains explicit references to drug or alcohol use, meaning that young people are receiving about 35 references to substance abuse for every hour of music they listen to. Is what we listen to important to our behavior? The New York Times seems to be aiming that it does. Although I would like to point out that young adults can make their own decisions and probably will not be convinced into something they don't want to do through music, music can change our thoughts.
Let's really think about it. When we work out, what type of music do we listen to? What type of songs play during parties or school dances? How are women described in these songs and what is being said about women?
Being a great fan of hip hop, reggaeton and merengue I love to dance and feel good while listening to this music. But is it representative of women? I would say in most cases, no. Women are being sexualized and described as objects at times. Males in songs seem to continuously share their strength, power, and money in lyrics while women's assets and "positive qualities" are based on physical beauty, sexual experience, and ability to be complacent to men.
Why is this a problem?
Although we can say that these are just songs and nothing negative comes from music, our thoughts do change when listening to these words combined with sounds. These lyrics arouse certain feelings and understandings in our subconscious mind, meaning we are not aware that we are listening to the words when we are just dancing. This repeated message of stereotypes in songs can become ideas that we accept and consider as true. That is a problem.