Now tabloid blames rock for teen sex and drugs issues
Heard it all before: another tabloid attack on those who enjoy rock music
One of the world’s biggest tabloid newspapers has tried to claim rock music is responsible for teenage children developing drug addiction issues and experiencing sexual health problems – without a shred of evidence.
The Daily Mail, read by nearly 6m people online every day, has taken a research report out of context to make the groundless claims. The original document had already come under fire for reaching an unconvincing conclusion.
It’s yet another attack on the moral fibre and community ethic of a section of society who just happen to like their music loud and raw.
Under the weasel-worded headline “Is rock n’roll the ‘gateway drug’ that leads to drink, dope and risky sex?” the Daily Mail says: “The phrase ‘sex, drugs and rock and roll’ is part of pop culture – but it’s actually true. Youngsters who spend time listening to loud music area also at risk of drug abuse, heavy alcohol use and risky sex.
“In the report from the Netherlands, researchers found that teens and young adults who spent a lot of time listening to loud music were also more likely to smoke marijuana, binge drink and have sex without a condom.”
Researchers at Erasmus MC University in Rotterdam surveyed 944 people aged 15 to 25 about their music listening habits and lifestyle. They discovered that many people who indulged in risky social experimentation such as staking drugs and practicing unsafe sex also listened to loud music.
But while the Mail insists “rock’n'roll” is to blame for the social problems, the research document didn’t mention any specific genre of music – and in fact didn’t ask those who participated in the study what they listened to.
Critics have been quick to point out the obvious flaw in the research; while the Mail itself is left with no option but to quote Dr Sharon Levy of Boston Children’s Hospital, a substance abuse expert, saying: “The study couldn’t show that one type of behaviour led to another, she pointed out.”
Levy says the important point researchers missed was establishing the lyrical content of what young people were listening to: “That’s a really important question: is what they’re hearing changing their behaviour? That becomes important for parents.”
But since Erasmus University didn’t ask the key question, all the report could conclude was that people who listen to loud music of any genre might also take risks with sex and drugs.
The “No shit Sherlock” conclusion was also reached by Daily Mail readers, who haven’t fallen for the gutter publication’s smear tactic.
Comments on the story include:
- So first a story about festivals causing drug use, and now music causes drugs and sex? It isn’t the 1960s any more…
- I’m 32, and I’m a rock/metal fan, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do any drugs and I don’t engage in casual sex. The gateway drug you’re referring to here is the inability of most teenagers to resist peer pressure.
- I can feel Metallica’s Sad but True planting urges to drink, take drugs and have risky sex as I type this. Listening to Nothing Else Matters makes me want to do all of the above – not.
- In the 50s rock’n'roll was responsible for juvenile delinquency. Now its the villain again? Come on, maybe kids just want to take a break from the lunacy and up-tightedness of our society.
- I’ve listened to rock music for as long as i can remember. From Eddie Cochran to System of a Down. I dont drink, I dont smoke and I dont condone drug use. There are drunks, smokers and drug addicts in all forms of music genre. This is just another “Rock music is the work of devil” attack again.
- It’s good to know that it’s not just UK Universities that is now populated by idiots doing pretend science for a living. Is the Charleston a gateway drug that leads to drink, dope and risky sex? Because stupid researchers in the 1920′s could have come to exactly the same conclusion. Correlation is not causality. If you don’t understand that fundamental principle you have no business ever setting foot in a university without a brush or mop in your hand.