Sex, Violence, and the Teenage Music Industry, by Adam Caress

The TV and Film industry’s sexualization of teenage girls pales in comparison to the combination of sex and violence in the music industry

Katy Perry may pray with her band before concerts, but the long-term effect of her highly sexualized songs and images may not be quite the positive message for young girls she and other female pop stars claim to seek.

Adam Caress is a thoughtful inside commentator on music, faith and culture for Mule Variations: Music Culture Ideas (and a favorite former student.)

In this powerful, disturbing, and carefully researched post, Adam explores the depth of degrading sexualization currently marketed to teenage girls, and dares to ask the question: Are we OK with this?



The End of the Sexual Revolution

by Adam Caress in Mule Variations: Music – Culture – Ideas

Sticks and stones may break my bones

But chains and whips excite me

– Rihanna, “S&M”

I think we can officially declare the Sexual Revolution over and done with. Sure, there are people who will keep on fighting it, but c’mon.  Now that an ode to sadomasochism has become the #1 song in America, I think it’s safe to say that whatever repressive pop culture institutions the 60s radicals were rebelling against have been overthrown.  At this point, even the usual suspects on the Religious Right can’t get any kind of an organized protest going; not even a good old Wal-Mart censorship campaign.

Painting “sexual liberation” as counter-cultural just doesn’t ring true anymore, no matter how conditioned we are to do so.  Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Ke$ha, etc. are as mainstream as it gets, and they’re not having any problem at all talking about sex.  In fact, it’s hard to find them talking about anything else.  Which isn’t necessarily surprising, given the longstanding relationship between music and sex.

But sexual expression and experimentation are no longer relegated to the artistic fringes.  They have become the pop culture machine itself; they are The Man; they are the status quo. And it’s not just any old brand of sex that the machine is cranking out…

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See also: Sex Objects: USC Study Reveals Hollywood’s Role in Sexualization of Teenage Girls


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