Early Adolescent Sexuality

Primary Materials

There is a lot of talk and concern about how the sexuality expressed in music videos might invoke early sexuality in adolescents. Do music videos mimic society or does society mimic the videos? Are the producers of these videos just giving us what we want to see? These are questions I will answer by using my primary materials. The music videos that I am going to use for demonstration are 2 Chainz “Birthday Song,” Beyonce “Crazy in Love” and Rhianna “Rude Boy.” I will analyze these three regular music videos that are aired on television with no restrictions and survey how these videos have affected young adolescents and their peers. I will also survey how their parents believe these videos have affected them and outside influences that may have been a factor. These videos are uncensored and shown on BET, MTV and many other music video channels regularly.

In the music video by 2 Chainz entitled Birthday Song girls dress and dance provocatively. In this video many of the “video girls” are dressed in tight dresses or leggings that show their figure. They also wear skimpy outfits such as just little bikinis or a skirt and bra. The video shows that many guys approach girls who dress like this. I have seen in clubs, online and in my environment not only my peers but also young adolescents imitating this style of dress with the thought that it will have an effect on the way guys look at them or help them to feel prettier.

Another video I would like to address is Beyonce “Crazy in Love.” In this video Beyonce and her back up dancers do dances that are called “twerking” or “booty shaking.” Twerking is a dance move that involves a person shaking their hips and bottom in a bouncy up and down motion, causing it to shake, wobble and jiggle and “to twerk” means to dance in a sexually suggestive twisting fashion. What makes the dance provocative or sexually explicit is that all of this gyrating is done on a male. While a female is twerking a man gets behind her butt and she dances on his crotch area. I have seen and heard of many young girls mimicking these dance moves at ages as early as 8 years old.

In Rihanna’s music video Rude Boy the lyrics along with the dancing is what makes the video provocative or sexually explicit. “I like the way you pull my hair. I like the way you kiss me there. Baby if I don’t feel it I aint faking no no,” is one line from the song. Adolescents learn the lyrics to these songs and are introduced to a more sexual way of thinking and behaving with the opposite sex. Yet knowing how provocative these lyrics are these songs are still placed on the radio and shown on TV where they can be viewed by any age group.

So What?

I believe that my research will be important to parents because they’ll know whether or not to more strictly surveil what their children watch on TV. I think that by me surveying how college students feel about the situation and adding in my own personal thoughts I am adding something different to it especially being that it is a widely researched topic. These videos will be used to make questions for the surveys that I will use to collect data from adolescents, parents and my peers. I would like to incorporate a way to do the surveys electronically to add in clips of the videos to ask questions about certain aspects of the video. However if there is no way to do that I will incorporate the videos by asking questions about them and how they invoked feelings in them and other people around them. What in the music videos invoke sexuality and how do people respond to these things? If the sexuality in them were too vulgar or provocative why are they allowed on television? Could it be that outside factors are the ones to blame for the early sexuality of young adolescents? Does dressing sexier provoke guys to look at girls in a more sexual manner? If these dance moves are too vulgar or explicit why are they shown on TV? Is the problem the music videos or the allowance of kids to be able to watch things such as this?

Rhetorical Analysis: Authorities Investigate Teen Party

In the recent video “Authorities Investigate Teen Party at Hayward Club” the reporter shows footage from inside a local teen night club. The reporter, Julia Goodrich, interviews a local teen that has attended one of these parties to gain insight on how they feel and better understand what goes on inside. Goodrich also shows the video to local parents to see what they thought of the things that occur in these parties. While Goodrich’s purpose it to inform the audience of how provocative and disturbing these parties are she also gives insight to how teens view what they are doing. She appeals to the audience’s parental conscious by showing footage of what their children may be doing when they go out.

“It looks pretty sexually explicit.” Goodrich made this comment to the young teen she was interviewing about the “Club Heat” parties. These parties range from kids thirteen years of age to nineteen years of age. Teenagers are copying what they have seen on TV, movies and on the radio. The teen refers to the dance moves done by the girls in the footage as “twerking.” This style of dance is seen in music videos, reality TV, in movies and also talked about in songs. Teens are mimicking the things that they surveil on a daily basis. Knowing this it would be safe to assume that this is why they don’t feel as though anything they are doing is wrong. Goodrich informs the team of how disturbing this may look to other people but the teen defends it by saying “it’s dancing, it’s not like there’s any sex happening. I don’t see a problem with it.”

Goodrich also invites us in to see the thoughts of adults in this situation. One woman states how she would throw her daughter over her shoulder and take her home if she caught her doing the things seen in the footage. Although parents may feel very strongly about this situation this is taking place in a very different era then what they were born in. Teens now are taught about sex and see more provocative things early on. Goodrich is also bias when it comes to this subject being that she is of an older generation. What they should take into consideration is what they allow their children to watch on TV and listen to on the radio. Media is a big influence on the minds of young people being that they spend a significant amount of time watching TV.

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