Negative Effects of Movies & Music

By Tayla Holman
Sexually explicit lyrics may lead children to have sex earlier.

It has been said that children are like sponges, and extensive research over the years has proven this to be true when it comes to the effects of movies and music on young brains. Children and teenagers who are exposed to violence and sexual activity in media are more likely to engage in similar behavior than those who are not, and the constant bombardment of almost impossible to achieve body images leads to many women being unsatisfied, or even disgusted, by their own bodies.

Violence in the Media Affects Children's Minds

In 2005, researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine found that non-aggressive children who were exposed to high levels of media violence had similar brain activity as aggressive children who had been diagnosed with disruptive behavior disorder. The non-aggressive children who were exposed to media violence had the same reduced frontal lobe activity as those children who had behavioral problems. The children that were not exposed to media violence had more activity in the frontal lobe, meaning that they had better self-control and higher attention spans.

Sexy Lyrics Lead to Early Sex

According to a study done in Pediatrics magazine in 2006, teens who said they listened to a lot of music with sexually explicit lyrics were almost twice as likely to start engaging in sexual activity as teens who listened to little or no sexually explicit music. 51 percent of these "heavy listener" teens studied began engaging in sexual activity within the two years of the study, versus 29 percent who listened to little or no "sexually degrading" music.

Negative Effects on Body Image

According to psychologists David H. Barlow and V. Mark Durand in their 1995 book "Abnormal Psychology: An Integrative Approach," societal standards of beauty change dramatically over time. In the 1950s, Marilyn Monroe and other "voluptuous" starlets were considered to be the ideal image of how a woman's body should look. That has changed in subsequent decades, and the new standard of beauty is that "thin is in." A study conducted by the Missouri Western State University Department of Psychology found that there is a distinct relationship between the effects of film and an individual's body image. As a result of images in movies and television shows, it is estimated that 40-50 percent of American women are trying to lose weight at any given time. Furthermore, by age 13, 53 percent of American girls are unhappy with their bodies. This increases to 78 percent by the time those girls turn 17.

About the Author

Tayla Holman started writing in 2006, specializing in technology, health and wellness, and diet and nutrition. She is a graduate of Hofstra University, earning her B.A. in print journalism and English.