Rock music has undergone dramatic changes since its introduction 30 years ago and is an issue of vital interest and concern for parents and pediatricians.
Rock music lyrics have become increasingly explicit during the last two decades—particularly with reference to sex and drugs. Some lyrics communicate potentially harmful health messages. These lyrics are of special concern in today's environment, which poses unprecedented threats to the health and well-being of adolescents, including pregnancy, drug use, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (and other sexually transmitted diseases), accidents, and suicide.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly opposes censorship. According to the Federal Communications Commission, the public owns the airways, which are leased back to radio and television stations that are obligated to produce programming in the public's best interest. Good taste and self-regulation by consumers, media, and the music industry would be appropriate and effective solutions.
The AAP, therefore, recommends that:
1. The public, and parents in particular, be made aware of sexually explicit, drug-oriented, or violent lyrics on records and tapes.
2. Broadcasters and the music industry be encouraged to demonstrate good taste and self-restraint in decisions regarding what is produced and allowed to be broadcast.
3. Rock performers be reminded that they can serve as positive role models for children and teenagers.
4. The AAP and other concerned organizations encourage parents to take a more active role in monitoring music to which their children are exposed.
5. Local coalitions of pediatricians, educators, and parents discuss the effects of the media on children and teenagers.
6. Research concerning the impact rock music has on the behavior of adolescents and preadolescents be developed and supported.
- Copyright © 1989 by the American Academy of Pediatrics