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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Public Health Officials 'Just Don't Understand'

The New York Times had a mildly interesting article yesterday about how public health officials are looking into hip-hop to figure out the sex lives of youth. Apparently, after watching one too many 50 Cent videos on MTV 2, someone finally decided that it must be that darn rap music that's prompting kids to 'get jiggy with it' these days. I mean hip hop's only been around, what, 30 years now?

So after joining young women and men on many a hip hop dance floor and using a yardstick to measure the distance between teens genitals while they danced, researchers were able to make some important conclusions. The main being that hip hop does not cause kids to fornicate like rabbits! In fact, "the overt sexuality of the music and dancing was not the main influence on sexual behavior. Rather it was the old standbys of alcohol, drugs and peer pressure that typically led them into sexual encounters."

And folks, it didn't stop there! They also found that if you talk to teens using their own 'hip hop vernacular', they actually understand you better! "The language of hip-hop also may in fact be a more effective way to communicate with teenagers." No shiznit!

As a public health wannabe (MPH '08 baby!), I'm a little concerned by this study, are we really that far behind? I understand teens seem like they're from another planet, but last time I checked they were human, just like us. Maybe if we gave them a little more credit and comprehensive education about sexuality, they could become empowered independent thinkers.


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