Cause and Effect

Posted on 08/04/2014 by John Poland CEO, Town Hall Foundation

The Town Hall Foundation has been evaluating the impact of music lyrics on America’s youth. Throughout 30+ editorials we have described the Cause and Effect of these music lyrics on the most vulnerable of our society and have suggested specific reforms for the music industry to ensure we change this disturbing set of outcomes.

W have shown the impact of the repeat listening to these lyrics to be akin to Brainwashing. Our children have become zombies of our creation. We allow musicians, producers, record labels and on to put profit before socially correct behavior.

In this editorial, we will examine specific outcomes that have been reported in journals and in the press.

-Nationally, more than half of teenagers are virgins until they are at least 17 years of age (Sex and America's Teenagers, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, New York).

      By corollary this means that the other half aren’t virgins.

-In the U.S., 7 in 10 women who had sex before age 14, and 6 in 10 of those who had sex before age 15 report having had sex involuntarily. (Facts in Brief: Teen Sex and Pregnancy, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, New York).

      This means that girls who had sex between 14 and 15 were raped.

-Teen childbearing alone costs U.S. taxpayers nearly $7 billion annually for social services and lost tax revenues. (Kids Having Kids: Economic Costs and Social Consequences of Teen Pregnancy, Prebecca Maynard (ed.), The Urban Institute, Washington, DC).

-Teens 16 to 19 were three and one-half times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault. (National Crime Victimization Survey. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice).

-According to the Justice Department, one in two rape victims is under age 18; one in six is under age 12. [Child Rape Victims,U.S. Department of Justice].

-In the U.S., 1 in 4 sexually active teens become infected with an STD every year. Some common STDs are chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital warts (also known as HPV - human papillomavirus), and herpes. (Facts in Brief: Teen Sex and Pregnancy, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, New York).

-Homicide is the second leading cause of death for persons 15-24 years of age and is the leading cause of death for African-American and Hispanic youths in this age-group (Anderson RN, Kochanek KD, Murphy SL. Report of final mortality statistics. Monthly vital statistics report).

-More than half (56 percent) of youths age 12-17 reported that marijuana was easy to obtain. This is an increase from 6 years prior, when 51 percent reported that marijuana was easy to obtain. (National Household Survey on Drug Abuse).

The Town Hall Foundation’s target audience is children between the ages of 5 and 17. The outcomes above can be caused by many issues: dysfunctional homes, single parent families, economic issues, gangs, education deficits, and of course MUSIC LYRICS. We can’t solve every issue, but we can address the impact of music lyrics that cause our children to make bad choices.

That’s the message for today, more coming.