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Does rap music have a bad influence on children?

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Quick Answer

Although opinion as to whether rap music has a bad influence on children is broadly divided, many believe the genre's focus on street crime, violence and sexist portrayals of women to be negative overall. It has also been suggested that references to drug abuse, including alcohol and tobacco, increase children's likelihood to participate in such behaviors. A University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study in 2005 found that 77 percent of rap music contains references to drug abuse, which is significantly more than any other genre.

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Full Answer

Although there is no conclusive correlation between children listening to rap music and participation in risky or destructive behaviors, there is some concern among researchers that music has a potent influence on identity and mood. Reckless behavior has been observed among young rap fans, as well as listeners to heavy metal. Other studies have found a correlation between listening to music with misogynistic lyrics and displaying aggression or hatred towards women in life.

However, it may be the case that children with existing social issues or a pessimistic outlook will naturally gravitate towards listening to these kinds of music. In other words, the music might not be the causative factor in their negative views and behavior.

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