Suggestion 12

Part: 
Four
Chapter: 
7

Parents should monitor the music their children listen to and the recording artists and producers should use discretion in the fare they offer to children.

Concern has been expressed over many of the lyrics heard in contemporary rock music. Many popular idols of the young commonly sing about rape, masturbation, incest, drug usage, bondage, violence, homosexuality and intercourse. Given the significant role that music plays in the lives of young people, and considering the fact that even pre-teenagers often listen to such material several hours a day,[1646] this issue was considered carefully by the Commission. Two conclusions ensued.

First, it is recommended that parents closely monitor the music heard by their children. An effort should be made by parents to evaluate the lyrics expressed on radio and television, in rock videos and on pornographic records. Considerable concern has also been expressed about the violence and sexual explicitness portrayed on the covers of such albums. Some of the album covers displayed to the Commission appeared to exhibit depictions satisfying the legal standard for obscenity.

Second, in order to facilitate this parental involvement, the Commission endorses the agreement reached in November, 1985, between the Parents Music Resource Center and the Recording Industry Association of America. By the terms of this voluntary arrangement, the recording industry agreed to label albums containing explicit sex, violence, drug or alcohol abuse with the words, "explicit lyrics" or "parental advisory," or else the actual lyrics would be printed on the album jackets.

The Commission strongly recommends that the recording artists and producers use greater discretion in the music they offer to juveniles. As a first step, however, this voluntary agreement will help parents and teachers take a more active role in limiting their children's exposure to this material.

Notes

  1. Washington, D.C., Hearing Vol. I, Kandy Stroud, pp. 243-44.