Monday, August 07, 2006

"Triggers" is a pretty strong word

I'm starting to think that maybe news articles (journalism in general?) should be called "popular publishing" or perhaps "popular writing." The Associated Press (AP) and their colleagues seem to be the equivalent of the Britney Spears of the information world.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh. Perhaps the experts mentioned in this article were the ones being especially dim and brainless; however, there seems to be a reasonable chance that their work was wrongly manipulated (perhaps unconsciously or simply ignorantly) by the AP. I'm not saying the AP has an agenda or anything. I'm not saying news is biased one way or the other. I'm just saying that journalists compensate for their vapidness by tapping into their lack of education to produce savory and completely incorrect pieces of fiction. Even if the work did posit a causative relationship, the AP should have provided a little more skepticism and a little less gospel.

Study: Sexy music triggers teen sex
CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- Teens whose iPods are full of music with raunchy, sexual lyrics start having sex sooner than those who prefer other songs, a study found.

In other words, there is some correlation between age of sex and number of "raunchy" songs (of course, there are issues with this classification). However, we should not jump to the conclusion that the music is CAUSING the sex. That would be a logical fallacy. It simply isn't right to do. It's wrong. It's wrong to do.

Couldn't it be that something else "triggers" both the taste in raunchy music and early sex? Is that outside the realm of possibility?

In all fairness, the article does mention:
Benjamin Chavis, chief executive officer of the Hip-Hip Summit Action Network, a coalition of hip-hop musicians and recording industry executives, said explicit music lyrics are a cultural expression that reflect "social and economic realities."

"We caution rushing to judgment that music more than any other factor is a causative factor" for teens initiating sex, Chavis said.

However, that's all it does.

This article (and this study, perhaps) will just be used as fodder for conservatives with an ax to grind. Also, because this issue seems pretty innocuous, moderates (or people trying to look more moderate) will join on to stamp out the evil music lyrics to win votes (remember Hillary Clinton's war against Grand Theft Auto?).

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