What "The Age" says about your Avril Lavigne collection

WHAT STUDIES SAY ABOUT YOUR SOUNDS:

POP: Conformists, overly responsible, role-conscious, struggling with sexuality or peer acceptance.

HEAVY METAL: Higher levels of suicidal ideation, depression, drug use, self-harm, shoplifting, vandalism, unprotected sex.

DANCE: Higher levels of drug use regardless of socio-economic background.

JAZZ/RHYTHM & BLUES: Introverted misfits, loners.

RAP: Higher levels of theft, violence, anger, street gang membership, drug use and misogyny.

From: Musical key to unlocking teenage wasteland by Kate Benson

I don’t often include the writer credit on these quotes, as I understand that sometimes the writer is just a staff position with no real autonomy or authority; but since Kate Benson is the “Medical Expert” at The Age; I thought I’d leave her name on this as I researched the actual source material, in case I had a nice rebuttal on hand.

For your notes; Felicity Baker is described as thus:

Former Assistant Professor in Music Therapy at Sogn og Fjordane College, Sandane, Norway and holds a Bachelor and Masters degree in music therapy from Melbourne University and a PhD from Aalborg University Denmark. Her primary interests are in the area of music therapy and neurological rehabilitation and in the effects of music on the mood changes within clinical patients.

AND

She holds a Bachelor and Masters degree in music therapy from Melbourne University and a PhD from Aalborg University Denmark. Dr Baker is currently program director for the music therapy training program at The School of Music. She is the editor of the Australian Journal of Music Therapy and serves on the editorial board of the Nordic Journal of Music Therapy.

Dr Baker has research interests in music and mood; music preference and diagnosis; songwriting; and music therapy in neurorehabilitation.

I’ve given the paper, and some of the other paper’s authored or co-authored by Ms. Baker a quick once over and found that she has been writing about the effects of music on the human body and mind for some time; long enough I imagine to at least form cogent observations about the matter.  I won’t waste any time on the science of this, as I don’t have the time to break the study down (nor do I have the actual data to draw my own conclusions from).

As anecdotes are not data, what can I; the untrained, unpaid and over opinionated person put forth on this?  I don’t know.  I don’t have an intelligent rebuttal here as I don’t have access to the actual study.  However, I do have access to the actual conclusion put forth by the authors:

Studies have found a relationship between various genres of music and antisocial behaviours, vulnerability to suicide, and drug use. However, studies reject that music is a causal factor and suggest that music preference is more indicative of emotional vulnerability. A limited number of studies have found correlations between music preference and mental health status. More research is needed to determine whether music preferences of those with diagnosed mental health issues differ substantially from the general adolescent population.

Note that money phrase there:

A limited number of studies have found correlations between music preference and mental health status. More research is needed to determine whether music preferences of those with diagnosed mental health issues differ substantially from the general adolescent population.

The limitted sample set of data available prevents conclusive results from being made available; thus we need to study the concept further.

Do you see anything about how Rap Music makes you a mysogynist?  How about Pop music making you Gay?

If you read the objective or thesis and then use the technique of making shit up, you might:

In the aftermath of the double suicide of two teenage girls in 2007, the media linked the themes of ’emo’ music and the girls’ mental state. But it is not just emo music that has been the subject of scrutiny by the media. Rap music, country, and heavy metal have also been blamed for antisocial behaviours including violence, theft, promiscuity and drug use. It remains an important research and clinical question as to whether music contributes to the acting out of behaviours described in the music lyrics or whether the preferred music represents the already existing behavioural tendencies in the subject. This paper surveys and discusses the relevant literature on music preference and adolescent music listening behaviours, and their links with adolescent mental health.

It appears that Kate Benson might have simply created a conclusion without reading the actual results just two inches lower on the same page.

Good work there Journo!  Ms. Benson is probably an opinion writer; and not a journo, but it still seethes my Baby Goats in their mother’s milk when I have to dig so much further for the facts of a sensational story.