A recent article from CBC News related new position statements from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Pediatric Society. Listening to sexually explicit or violent music lyrics can affect children’s schoolwork, social interactions, mood and behaviour, the American Academy of Pediatrics says.

The academy released an updated policy statement on the impact of sexually charged and violent music and videos on the healthy development of children and teenagers. Surveys suggest most teens spend two hours a day listening to music, often on MP3 players with headphones.

The report’s authors cited research findings that children who listen to explicit and violent music lyrics and video may become more aggressive, antisocial and promiscuous… particularly for children and teens who are vulnerable because of their social environment.

The Canadian Pediatric Society is currently revising its position on the impact of media on children on teens. Both the American and Canadian pediatric societies recommend limiting media screen time, watching TV, movies or using computers during leisure hours to reduce (among other things) the risk of obesity.

The recommended maximums in Canada are:

  • Two hours per day for everyone else, such as 30 minutes of TV, 30 minutes of instant messaging and one hour of video gaming.
  • No screen time for babies.
  • One hour per day for toddlers.

Parents may mitigate potential negative effects by finding out what their children are exposed to, talking about it and letting the kids know about concerns… (We) urge parents to monitor what their children are listening to and watching.