‘Pop porn’ is harming young children, columnist warns

Sexually charged pop lyrics and videos are damaging young children but the industry does not care as long as it makes money, a national newspaper columnist has said.

Sandra Parsons highlighted popstar Rihanna’s song S&M which includes sexually explicit lyrics, as well as a music video by rapper Skepta and a song by the artist Jessie J.

The columnist is worried about the effect on children, but was sceptical about whether the industry would care “about the emotional stability of the children who make them ever richer”.

Vulnerable

Writing in the Daily Mail, the commentator told of one nine-year-old boy who was rapping the chorus of a Jessie J song which includes sexually explicit words and a sexual swear word.

Sandra Parsons said while the boy had no idea what the words really meant, she cautioned that “he’s also at a vulnerable age when a child’s personality is still in the process of being formed”.

She continued: “What children see, hear and do before adulthood can have far-reaching consequences.

“Can we honestly say that the boys listening to all these mainstream songs that glorify aggressive sex will not be remotely affected later on?”

Sexualised

The commentator also hit out at one song from rapper Skepta, which she said is accompanied by a music video “that I can only describe as hardcore porn”.

She wrote: “Although it’s become a truism to say that today’s teens are the most over-sexualised generation ever, that doesn’t mean they know everything there is to know about sex — in fact, most of them know much less than they pretend.

“But it does mean they are an easy target for a cynical music industry that continues to pump out ever more pornographic images and lyrics to sell records.”

The commentator wrote: “Rihanna is estimated to be worth £70 million already. She, Jessie J, Skepta and their ilk rely on people like me feeling outrage. They want to be seen as treading on forbidden ground because there’s nothing like it for boosting sales.”

Furore

In December sexually explicit dances by Rihanna and Christina Aguilera on The X Factor caused a furore.

In the controversial dances Christina Aguilera appeared on stage in a tiny black dress accompanied by a number of female dancers wearing underwear as they danced suggestively.

Rihanna took to the stage in a full length gown which she removed before performing the remainder of her routine in her underwear.

Following ten days of public pressure UK media watchdog Ofcom said it would launch an investigation into the routines, which appeared on The X Factor before the watershed.

Pornography

Last year a top music producer slammed raunchy music videos for sexualising young children.

Mike Stock, who helped to launch the career of Kylie Minogue, said: “The music industry has gone too far. It’s not about me being old fashioned. It’s about keeping values that are important in the modern world.

“These days you can’t watch modern stars – like Britney Spears or Lady Gaga – with a two-year-old.

“Ninety-nine per cent of the charts is R ‘n’ B and 99 per cent of that is soft pornography.”

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