This is a list of songs about domestic violence and sexual violence. The list was initially generated on the PreventConnect listserv compiled by Bethany Pombar of the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

Impact of Violent Lyrics


From Violent Lyrics to Violence Against Women and Girls? (2004)
A CUMULATIVE EFFECT Some researchers have suggested that attitudinal differences among younger adolescents, who exhibit fewer rape-supportive beliefs than older adolescents, may be due the cumulative effect of cultural influences and repeated exposures to sexually violent material. (Burt, MR (1980) Cultural myths and supports for rape. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 3,217-230. Centi, J. & Malamuth, N. (1984). Effects of repeated exposure to sexually-violent or nonviolent stimuli on sexual arousal to rape and non rape depictions. Behavioral Research and Therapy, 22 535-548)

Misogynistic Lyrics are not exclusive to a particular genre
Research has shown that males who listen to heavy metal music endorse more stereotypical, negative attitudes toward women that men who listen to easy-listening music. (St. Lawrence, J.S. & Joyner, D.J. (1991). The Effects of Sexually Violent Rock Music on Male’s Acceptance of Violence Against Women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 15, 49-63)
A study in 1995 demonstrated that males who were exposed to violent "gangsta rap" videos (i.e., videos replete with images of shootings, beatings, etc.): expressed a greater acceptance of violence reported a higher probability that they would take part in violence, in comparison than adolescents in a control group possessed more acceptance of violence toward women, in comparison with those in the control condition
(Johnson, J.D., Jackson, L.A., & Gatto, L. (1995). Violent attitudes and Deferred Academic Aspirations: Deleterious Effects of Exposure to Rap Music. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 16, 27-41)

Music videos are self-reinforcing
If viewers hear a song after having seen the video version, they immediately “flash-back” to the visual imagery in the video. (Took KJ, Weiss DS. The relationship between heavy metal and rap music and adolescent turmoil: real or artifact? Adolescence. 1994;29:613-621)

Making the Connection: Violence Song Lyrics & Feelings of Aggression
Researchers in Iowa and Texas found a link between listening to violent song lyrics and feelings of aggression and hostility. The results of five different experiments designed to assess the relationship between violent lyrics and aggressive thoughts and feelings, suggest that listening to songs with violent lyrics increases feelings of aggression, at least in the short term. Even humorous violent songs seemed to have the same effect on aggressive thoughts and feelings as non-humorous violent songs. Such feelings can influence the way people view social interactions, leading them to interpret ambiguous actions as hostile and react more aggressively in turn. (Craig A. Anderson (2003) Exposure to Violent Media: The Effects of Songs With Violent Lyrics on Aggressive Thoughts and Feelings, The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, May Issue 2003) http://www.arte-sana.com/articles/violent_lyrics.htm
From: http://www.knowmoreteens.org

Sample Lyrics
There is a lot of violence in music, on T.V., in movies and in video games. Violence is a learned behavior and violence in the media reinforces violent behavior. Here are some songs that we selected to demonstrate how violence appears on the media. Focus on the words and decide what you think the message is.


Every Breath You Take (STING)
Every breath you take And every move you make Every bond you break, every step you take I'll be watching you Every single day And every word you say Every game you play, every night you stay I'll be watching you Oh, can't you see You belong to me? How my poor heart aches With every step you take Every move you make Every vow you break Every smile you fake, every claim you stake I'll be watching you

I'll be Missing You (PUFF DADDY & FAITH EVANS)
Every step I take, every move I make Every single day, every time I pray I'll be missing you, Thinking of the day, when you went away What a life to take, what a bond to break I'll be missing you

Run for your Life (THE BEATLES)
Well I'd rather see you dead, little girl Than to be with another man You better keep your head, little girl Or you won't know where I am You better run for your life if you can, little girl Hide your head in the sand, little girl Catch you with another man That's the end, little girl

Die, Die My Darling (METALLICA)
Die, die, die my darling Don't utter a single word Die, die, die my darling Just shut your pretty eyes I'll be seeing you in hell So don't cry to me oh baby Your future's in an oblong box Don't cry to me oh baby Had to know it was in your power Don't cry to me oh baby Dead-end goal for a dead-end girl Don't cry to me oh baby And now your life drains on the floor

Just the Two of Us (Bonnie and Clyde) (EMINEM)
Mama's too sleepy to hear you screamin' in her ear, That's why you can't get her to wake, But don't worry, dada made a nice bed for mama at the bottom of the lake, Here, you want to help dada tie a rope around this rock? We'll tie it to her footsies then we'll roll her off the dock. Ready now, here we go, on the count of three, One, two, three...weeeeeeeee There goes mama splashin' in the water No more fighin' your dad, no more restrainin' order, No more step dada, no more new brother, Blow her kisses bye-bye, tell mama you love her, We'll go play in the sand, build a sand castle and junk, But first, just help dad with two more things out the trunk

Run For Your Life (JARVIC CHURCH)
Run for you life You wish he had with you Cut you with a knife And leaves you Lying on the side walk With your heart in your hand

Goodbye Earl (DIXIE CHICKS)
Well it wasn't 2 weeks after she got married that Wanda started getting abused, She put on dark glasses, and long sleeved blouses, and makeup to cover her bruise, Well she finally got the nerve to file for a divorce, she let the law take it from there, But Earl walked right through that restraining order, and put her in intensive care

Evangeline (LITTLE BIG TOWN)
He won’t lay a finger on you He won’t wreck your pretty face But he’ll tell you that you’re worthless Just to put you in your place Well, you don’t have to be kicked to be bruised, no And you don’t have to be hit to be abused
Evangeline, you’re a hard one Your denial is bolstered by your dreams Thinking love is gonna save you But it ain’t love if it’s mean Evangeline
And the smile that you’re wearing Is just a lovely veil For the secrets that you’re hiding That are just too dark to tell Well, you don’t have to be cut to be scarred, no And you don’t have to be struck to leave a mark
Evangeline, you’re a hard one You’re denial is bolstered by your dreams Thinking love is gonna save you But it ain’t love if it’s mean Evangeline
Well, you don’t have to be kicked to be bruised, no And you don’t have to be hit to be abused
Evangeline, you’re a hard one Your denial is bolstered by your dreams Thinking love is gonna save you But it ain’t love if it’s mean Evangeline

Check out: IT STOPS WITH US by J-Saint http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kroz7SmSLTw (More info on Whatcha Gotta Know on Pennsylvania Coalition Against Sexual Assault –http://www.pcar.org & http://www.teenpcar.org)

Lesson Plan

  1. LESSON PLAN for grades 7-12. Students will listen to and read lyrics from popular songs that explore themes of self-esteem, body image, and eating disorders. The song interpretations will serve as a jumping-off point to deeper discussion on the issues, culminating in a writing exercise.
  2. Objectives:
    • To interpret song lyrics both objectively and subjectively
    • To understand that self-image struggles are part of being human and affect everyone
    • To be better able to identify the pressures to look and act a certain way, and where these pressures come from
    • To be able to express their own attitudes, experiences, and feelings about self-image and how it is influenced by the media.
  3. Materials Needed:
    • CD or tape player
    • Songs on CD or tape (preferably 2 or more):
      • "At Seventeen" - Janis Ian (from Between The Lines album)
      • "Perfect" - Alanis Morissette (from Jagged Little Pill album)
      • "Ana's Song" - Silverchair (from Neon Ballroom album)
      • "Reflection" - Christina Aguilera (from Christina Aguilera album)
    • Song lyric sheets:
      • "At Seventeen" - Janis Ian
      • "Perfect" - Alanis Morissette
      • "Ana's Song" - Silverchair
      • "Reflection" - Christina Aguilera
  4. Procedure:
    1. Begin the lesson with some discussion questions that will help students focus in on the subject:
      • Who are your favorite celebrities/entertainers? What do you like best about them? Do you like the way they look?
      • If you could "be" any entertainer, who would you pick, and why?
      • Do you think celebrities always like the way they look and feel great about themselves?
      • Did you watch, see, or listen to any type of entertainment this week that made you feel bad about yourself? Anything that made you feel good about yourself?
    2. Explain to students that you will be focusing on media-- namely, music-- that deals with issues of body image, self-esteem, and eating disorders. By looking at what certain artists have to say on the subject, we'll see that they're all related-and that everyone experiences these feelings, no matter how "successful" they are or "perfect" they seem on the outside.
    3. Play one of the songs and ask students to just listen to it, taking note of how it makes them feel.
    4. Pass out the song lyrics and play the song again, asking students to follow along.
    5. Discuss the song. General questions might include:
      • What does the song title mean, and how does it relate to the song lyrics?
      • If you could come up with an alternate title for this song, what would it be? Why?
      • What is the songwriter trying to tell you? What do you think they were feeling when they wrote this song?
      • Do you agree or disagree with what they're saying? Why?
      • How did this song make you feel? Did you feel that it was expressing feelings that are similar to your own?

6. Bring up questions about the particular song and its lyrics: o Suggested questions on "At Seventeen":  Janis Ian wrote this song over 25 years ago. Are there themes in her lyrics that were only present in 1975, or are they present now as well? Do you think that these things will be true when the song is played in another 25 years?  What is "the truth" that Janis Ian refers to?  What is "the game" that she sings about?  Why is she singing about age 17, rather than age 30, or 12, or any other time in one's life? o Suggested questions on "Perfect":  Alanis Morissette has admitted that she has struggled with anorexia. In this song, she is definitely delivering a message to someone. Who is it? What is the tone of the message? Is the message serious or sarcastic?  What familiar terms and ideas do you hear in the lyrics? Examples: "good enough," "win first place," and "good girl."  What teen problems are these ideas associated with? Examples: parental pressure, competition, peer pressure, etc. o Suggested questions on "Ana's Story":  Silverchair's lead singer Daniel Johns, who wrote this song, has admitted to a history with eating disorders. Does it surprise you to hear about a guy who has an eating disorder? Why would a guy be vulnerable to an eating disorder? What pressures are out there for males to look a certain way? What is the stereotype "perfect male body"?  Who-- or rather, what-- is "Ana"? (a disease: anorexia nervosa). What in the song tells you that dealing with this disease is a real battle? o Suggested questions on "Reflection":  What is "reflection"? What kinds of reflections do we deal with in daily life? Examples: mirrors, comparing ourselves with others, inner self-reflection.  Do you think that everyone feels like nobody sees the "real them"? What can you do to feel that people ARE seeing the "real you"? 7. If time, repeat the process with another song. 8. Assign a writing activity for homework or for in-class exercise: Option 1 (for in-class): Write a letter to one of the artists that you just heard. Tell them what you did or did not like about their song, and why. If you did like it, recount one episode in your life that relates to the theme and/or emotions expressed. If you didn't like it, explain how you feel differently, with an experience to back it up. or Option 2 (for homework): Ask students to find a song that they feel deals with self-esteem issues, then write an essay interpreting the song lyrics line by line. In the next class period, ask volunteers to share their letters or song/interpretations. V. Classroom Assessment: Score student work to the following scale: • 4: Contributed to class discussion and completed a well-planned, well thought-out, and creative writing assignment. • 3: Contributed to class discussion and completed a fairly planned writing assignment. • 2: Contributed minimally to class discussion and writing assignment not well done. • 1: Writing assignment was incomplete. VI. Extensions and Adaptations: • Have students write letters to a news outlet or talk show (such as Oprah, Today Show, etc.), asking them to cover the issue of self-image and the media, and presenting reasons why it's an important subject. • Have students identify one piece of media that made them angry or that they felt was unrealistic, then write a song about it by replacing the lyrics of an existing song with their own. • Have students explore other media for expressing positive messages about self image by: writing a poem or short story, creating a drawing, painting, or collage, taking a photograph or group of photographs, composing a song, writing and performing a sketch, etc.
VII. Online Resources:
• PBS In the Mix - "Self-Image: The Fantasy, The Reality" www.pbs.org/mix/selfimage_index.html
• PBS "Affluenza" http://www.pbs.org/kcts/affluenza
• Dads And Daughters http://www.dadsanddaughters.org
• Radiance Magazine (For All Size Women) http://www.radiancemagazine.com
• Girls, Inc. http://www.girlsinc.org/PROGRAMS
• About-Face http://www.about-face.org
The Benefits of Using Song Links (1998) by Laura Zárate, Arte Sana
Two-way Educational Experience In order to use relevant song links, educators have to learn more about youth culture and the students they work with.
Active Engagement of Students Students are offered very few opportunities to be experts. Using popular music requires a constant dialogue with students wherein they become the technical assistants, educating the educator on meaning and language.
Generation & Culture Bridge Though the facilitator's culture, background, age, or gender may affect the delivery and interpretation of risk reduction messages, relevant music links may offer a common ground in which students may be engaged.
Economic Vehicle Internet search engines facilitate the acquisition of lyrics, and the music itself is also readily available. The best way to determine what music to use is to ask your target population for input.
How to Use Song Links
 Use songs as an introduction for a particular topic.
 Use songs in closing a particular topic.
 Ask the students to interpret the song.
Discuss what they heard, first impressions. What seems to be the emotional tone set by the words and music? What is happening, what is the story?
 Rate songs for possible rape danger messages. (See song-rating sheet below recommended for middle school age to adults)
 Refer to the lyrics and give examples of how they reinforce any or all of the following sexual assault themes (Recommended for college age students and older): Male entitlement Phallic weapon Sex with underage girls Objectification of women Coercion
 Ask the students to rewrite negative songs into positive ones.
 Use the surface message of a song to promote an alternative message.
 Ask the students to identify possible feelings, attitudes, and behaviors of song characters. Possible questions: Does this sound like someone you would like to date? Why or why not? Does this sound like a happy relationship? Do you think this person respects women? Why or why not? Does it sound like he/she respects herself? Why? Is this person being assertive, aggressive, or passive? Explain.
DISCLAIMER: It is very important to remember that most men do not rape, the following information draws attention to those behaviors that men who are more likely to rape may exhibit. It is offered as part of an exercise that is meant to show just how often violence against women messages are expressed through song.
"Friends" Raping Friends--Could It Happen to You? Unfortunately, a nice, normal man can turn into a date rapist. However, there are some men who are more likely to be sexually aggressive than others. Watch out for:  men who do not listen to you, ignore what you say, talk over you or pretend not to hear you. Such men generally have little respect for women and would be more likely to hear "no" as meaning "convince me."  men who ignore your personal space boundaries.  men who express anger or aggression towards women as individuals or in general. Hostile feelings can easily be translated into hostile acts. Such men often get hostile when a woman says "no."  men who do what they want regardless of what you want. If a man does this in little ways--for example, if he makes all the decisions about what to do and where to go without asking your opinion--then he may also be likely to make the decision about whether you are ready to have sex with him.  men who try to make you feel guilty, or accuse you of being "uptight" if you resist their sexual overtures.  men who act excessively jealous or possessive.  men who have wrong or unrealistic ideas about women (for example, "women are meant to serve men"). Such men are not likely to take your objections to sex seriously.  men who drink heavily. A "mean drunk" can often get sexually aggressive, angry, or violent if he is rejected. Written by Jean O'Gorman Hughes, Research Associate, and Bernice R. Sandler, Executive Director, Project on the Status and Education of Women, Association of American Colleges, April 1987. "The following information was meant to be used in conjunction with the song rating sheet as a compliment to any sexual assault risk reduction presentation."
“FACE DOWN” By Red Jumpsuit Apparatus: Not since Suzanne Vega came out with the single “Luka” back in 1987 have we heard a candid portrayal of domestic violence. Until The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’s 2006 single “Face Down”, that is. Despite the twenty year gap between the two songs, like Vega’s “Luka” “Face Down” deals with the painful subject of abuse with the seriousness and gravity of a close friend looking in. And since the song is rumored to have been written about lead singer Elias Reidy’s former girlfriend, it is no wonder the lyrics ring so personal. But besides holding a mirror up to our society so that it takes notice of its ailments, what does a song about abuse and violence really achieve? That has been the question on my mind since I first heard “Face Down”. After watching the music video, I realized the purpose of the song was purely redemptive and I loved it for that. Watching the girl in the video, supposedly the ex-girlfriend, examining her bruises before the mirror only to be reminded of her abusive boyfriend, but by the end of the video feeling strong enough to throw out the destructive memories and start anew, I was convinced it was redemption and recovery I was witnessing. Although the basic punk pop approach of Red Jumpsuit Apparatus in "Face Down" is rather ordinary, the lyrical concern for spousal abuse in the song calls for a second listen. Apparently, some listeners have mistaken the song for being about an attack on both the male and female protagonists of the song. However, the band has made clear the song is about violence between partners. They are donating proceeds from sales of t-shirts and wristbands related to the song's subject matter to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus performed an acoustic set at a benefit for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence in New York City in October, 2006. Complete with red carpet and a surprise appearance by labelmates 30 Seconds To Mars, the evening raised awareness for this important cause.
See the Music Video for ‘Face Down’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmfasWzdyHs
“Face Down” by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Hey, girl, you know you drive me crazy one look puts the rhythm in my hand. Still I'll never understand why you hang around I see what's going down.
Cover up with makeup in the mirror tell yourself, it's never gonna happen again you cry alone and then he swears he loves you.
Do you feel like a man when you push her around? Do you feel better now as she falls to the ground? Well I'll tell you my friend, one day this world's going to end as your lies crumble down, a new life she has found.
A pebble in the water makes a ripple effect every action in this world will bear a consequence If you wade around forever, you will surely drown I see what's going down.
I see the way you go and say you're right again, say you're right again heed my lecture
Do you feel like a man when you push her around? Do you feel better now as she falls to the ground? Well I'll tell you my friend, one day this world's going to end as your lies crumble down, a new life she has found.
Face down in the dirt, she said, "This doesn't hurt", she said, "I finally had enough."
One day she will tell you that she has had enough it's coming round again.
Do you feel like a man when you push her around? Do you feel better now as she falls to the ground? Well I'll tell you my friend, one day this world's going to end as your lies crumble down, a new life she has found.
Face down in the dirt, she said, "This doesn't hurt", she said, "I finally had enough."

“Luka” by Suzanne Vega My name is Luka I live on the second floor I live upstairs from you Yes I think you've seen me before If you hear something late at night Some kind of trouble. some kind of fight Just don't ask me what it was Just don't ask me what it was Just don't ask me what it was I think it's because I'm clumsy I try not to talk too loud Maybe it's because I'm crazy I try not to act too proud They only hit until you cry And after that you don't ask why You just don't argue anymore You just don't argue anymore You just don't argue anymore
Yes I think I'm okay I walked into the door again Well, if you ask that's what I'll say And it's not your business anyway I guess I'd like to be alone With nothing broken, nothing thrown Just don't ask me how I am Just don't ask me how I am
PINK LYRICS
Stupid Girls
Stupid girl, stupid girls, stupid girls Maybe if I act like that, that guy will call me back What a paparazzi girl, I don't wanna be a stupid girl
Go to Fred Segal, you'll find them there Laughing loud so all the little people stare Looking for a daddy to pay for the champagne (Drop a name) What happened to the dreams of a girl president She's dancing in the video next to 50 Cent They travel in packs of two or three With their itsy bitsy doggies and their teeny-weeny tees Where, oh where, have the smart people gone? Oh where, oh where could they be?
Maybe if I act like that, that guy will call me back What a paparazzi girl, I don't wanna be a stupid girl Baby if I act like that, flipping my blonde hair back Push up my bra like that, I don't wanna be a stupid girl
(Break it down now) Disease's growing, it's epidemic I'm scared that there ain't a cure The world believes it and I'm going crazy I cannot take any more I'm so glad that I'll never fit in That will never be me Outcasts and girls with ambition That's what I wanna see Disasters all around World despaired Their only concern Will they up my hair
Maybe if I act like that, that guy will call me back What a paparazzi girl, I don't wanna be a stupid girl Baby if I act like that, flipping my blonde hair back Push up my bra like that, I don't wanna be a stupid girl
[Interlude] Oh my god you guys, I totally had more than 300 calories That was so not sexy, no Good one, can I borrow that? [Vomits] I WILL BE SKINNY
(Do ya thing, do ya thing, do ya thing) (I like this, like this, like this) Pretty will you me girl, silly as a lucky girl Pull my head and suck it girl, stupid girl! Pretty would you me girl, silly as a lucky girl Pull my head and suck it girl, stupid girl!
Baby if I act like that, flipping my blonde hair back Push up my bra like that, stupid girl!
Maybe if I act like that, that guy will call me back What a paparazzi girl, I don't wanna be a stupid girl Baby if I act like that, flipping my blonde hair back Push up my bra like that, I don't wanna be a stupid girl.
THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT
Sung by Collin Raye
She hears his heavy breathing in the dark, his footsteps coming closer down the hall. She's so ashamed, she's daddy's secret love. She wants to cry, she wants to die, but he can't get enough.
The bruises on his face will go away, mom keeps him home from school till they fade. She's sorry he was born and tells him so. He takes it in, he hangs his chin, he ducks another blow.
Did God overlook it? What ought have been written, the Eleventh Commandment; Honor Thy Children.
He cries for hours, cries and never stops. He shakes so hard his little cradle rocks. He'll never have the chance to be brand new, he'll never walk, he'll never talk, he's addicted too.
Did God overlook it? What ought have been written, the Eleventh Commandment; Honor Thy Children.
Thou Shalt Not Kill; Thou Shalt Not Steal; Thou Shalt Not Take the Lords Name in Vain; Thou Shalt Not Cause Thy Children Pain.
God does not overlook it. What ought have been written. The Eleventh Commandment; Honor Thy Children. Honor Thy Children
``` WAKE UP CALL By: Maroon Five
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALCsqz-TbFk
I didn’t hear what you were saying I live on raw emotion baby I answer questions, never maybe And I’m not kind if you betray me So who the hell are you to save me? I never would’ve made it baby
If you needed love Well then ask for love Could have given love Now I’m taking love And it’s not my fault Coz you both deserve What’s coming now So don’t say a word
Wake up call Caught you in the morning with another one in my bed Don’t you care about me anymore? Don’t you care about me? I don’t think so Six foot tall came without a warning so I had to shoot him dead He won’t come around here anymore. Come around here? I don’t think so
Would’ve bared to make you happy You didn’t need to treat me that way And now you beat me at my own game And now I’m finally sleeping soundly And your lover’s screaming loudly, here a sound and hit the ground
Wake up call Caught you in the morning with another man in my bed You don’t care about me anymore. Care about me? I don’t think so Six foot tall came without a warning so I had to shoot him dead He won’t come around here anymore, come around here? I don’t feel so bad, I don’t feel so bad, I don’t feel so bad
I’m so sorry darling; did I do the wrong thing? Oh, what was I thinking? Is his heart still beating?
Wake up call Caught you in the morning with another one in my bed Don’t you care about me anymore? Don’t you care about me? I don’t think so Six foot tall came without a warning so I had to shoot him dead He won’t come around here anymore. He won’t come around here. I don’t feel so bad
LISTENING TO MUSIC WITH CHILDREN
 from [[http://www.pta.org/archive_article_details_1152658751031.html]]
On any given day, 85% of U.S. 8- to 18-year-olds spend at least a few minutes listening to one of the audio media, and 44% spend in excess of an hour. —The Kaiser Family Foundation, Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8–18 Year-olds, 2005
Benefits • Music is a powerful communicator of emotion and an excellent channel of self-expression. It can also be a great middle ground that brings parents and children together. But remember, every generation is defined by its own music, and kids today are no exception.
Risks • Music piracy is not just unethical; it’s illegal. Sharing music with friends, downloading a few songs for free, or even purchasing an illegally copied CD may not seem like a big deal when done infrequently, but the recording industry is becoming increasingly tough in enforcing copyright regulations, and is even pressing charges on consumers. In some cases, parents have been prosecuted for what their children did using the family computer. • For many teens and tweens, musical artists are not just entertainment; they have an attractive lifestyle that these kids would like to adopt themselves. Parents may not always approve of the influence music videos and related products have on their children. Have frank discussions with your children about what they are listening to and watching. Ask them what they admire about the artists, and why. Tell your children that it is okay to admire and appreciate what musical artists bring to our lives but it is also important to be realistic about how much we allow them to influence our day-to-day activities.
Ratings In 1985, National PTA worked with the Recording Industry Association of America to reach an agreement that specified that music containing explicit lyrics should be clearly identified. This led to the creation of the Parental Advisory Label.
The decision to place the Parental Advisory Label on an album is a voluntary one made jointly by the record company and the artist. The Parental Advisory Label, which is plainly displayed in nonremovable form on the front cover of the album, is placed on an album when the lyrics may be too explicit for all audiences (particularly children) and, out of respect for the artist’s creativity and expression, it is decided not to rerecord, revise, or remove the potentially offensive songs. In some cases, an edited version of an album with a Parental Advisory Label is created; this album will have an Edited Version Label.
The rating of music in this way is not an exact science. Parents may not always agree with the decisions made by the recording companies and artists. When making decisions about what music is appropriate for their children, parents should listen to the songs or albums themselves and talk to their children about the music and artists.
What Parents Can Do • Stress the importance of buying music legally. Have continual conversations with your children about how consuming pirated music is both unethical and illegal. In addition, make sure you are a good role model for your children. You can’t expect your children to refrain from downloading music illegally if they see you doing it. • Make it easy for your child to buy music legally. There are many online music stores where your children can explore and experiment as their tastes in music change and grow. To make sure your children are exploring in a legal way, consider creating a family account with an online music retailer and using songs as rewards for good behavior and grades. • Share music with your child. Trade favorite CDs with your child, and be aware of what you are listening to. Try to figure out why your children enjoy the music they listen to; don’t be afraid to ask them if you simply don’t understand. Likewise, talk to your children about the music that you like and the songs that hold important memories for you. • Establish a Media Use Contract with each child in your family. It is important that you have a conversation with each child to set rules and limits that are appropriate for him or her. In your conversation, be explicit about how you intend to monitor your child’s music consumption and what the consequences will be if the contract is broken. Once the contracts have been signed, post them in a prominent place in your home as a reminder.
Resources
• Common Sense Media http://www.commonsensemedia.org/
• Recording Industry Association of America http://www.riaa.org/


Other Media


Finding Materials