What Miley Cyrus is Promoting to Your Teens

Miley_WeCantStop

Music has always been a powerful force in shaping culture. Music is a powerful tool in teaching people morals, beliefs, and attitudes. Teenagers more than anyone are shaped by music in their culture. Teenagers are in a period of life where they are asking questions about life, forming beliefs and worldview, and choosing what behavioral patterns to follow. This is why music is so important to teenagers. It gives them a voice and helps them form opinions about the world around them.

This is why parents need to be careful about what kind of music they are allowing their teenagers to listen to. I’m not suggesting we boycott “secular music” and only listen to “Christian music.” That distinction has never been a good one anyways. We must look past the genre or style and see what exactly teenagers are learning from a particular artist or song.

Recently, Miley Cyrus has released a new song that parents need to be aware of. My fear is that when most parents hear that their teenager is listening to Miley Cyrus they may feel no need to ask anymore questions because what comes to their mind when they hear Miley Cyrus is the Disney Channel star Hannah Montana. Unfortunately, Miley Cyrus is no longer a cute, little Disney Channel star, but a young woman who is not ashamed to be outright sexual, confrontational, and offensive.

Cyrus new song “We Can’t Stop” (along with the music video) is teaching promoting things, attitudes, and behaviors to your teenager that are not consistent with what God has revealed in His Word. Click here to read the full lyrics to this song.

Sexuality and Promiscuity. This song is full of sexual references and behaviors. Lines such as “Bet somebody here might get some now” and “To my home girls here with the big butt shaking it like we at a strip club,” Cyrus is not ashamed to promote sex and sexual behaviors. This song, like many others, tears apart the Biblical purpose and beauty of sex. Instead of sex being something reserved for marriage between one man and woman as a way of pleasure and intimacy with each other, sex is now something you do for fun whenever you want and with whomever you want. It’s not about intimacy anymore, it’s about recreational pleasure.

Drugs. This is something many listeners may not catch at first, but Cyrus makes mentions of drugs and drug use a few times in this song. In the second verse she says, “And everyone in line in the bathroom, trying to get a line in the bathroom.” Get a “line” is a slang way to saying snorting powdered drug. There is another time drugs show up in this song, but in a very interesting way. In the song Cyrus says, “So la da di da di. We like to party. Dancing with Miley.” Sounds ok doesn’t it? Dancing with Miley. However, when the song first came out many people thought Cyrus was saying “Dancing with Molly” (aka MDMA, ecstasy). I normally wouldn’t have an issue with this because this isn’t what the song actually says. I’m not going to get up in arms about what I thought our “heard” Cyrus say. However, she responded by saying this when she was asked about that line in the song:

If you’re aged ten [the lyric is] Miley. If you know what I’m talking about then you know. I just wanted it to be played on the radio and they’ve already had to edit it so much…I don’t think people have a hard time understanding that I’ve grown up. You can Google me and you know what I’m up to — you know what the lyric is saying (click here to read more).

It’s all about having fun and doing what you want. The whole idea of this song is doing whatever you want because it’s your party, house, and mouth! Cyrus promotes fun and pleasure as the end goal and doing whatever you want to get there is ok. In Cyrus own words, just remember “only God can judge ya.” Which I find very interesting because I’m not sure why if only one person could judge you, why would you want that person to be God? I’d much rather someone else judge me, not the ruler and Creator of this world. However, Cyrus, like many others, use this phrase as a justification to do whatever they want.

Are these things and behaviors we really want our teenagers to be taking in? I tweeted the other day that this is one of the trashiest songs I have ever heard. I’d encourage parents to take a listen and view the video. What are your thoughts on this song?

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Published by

Austin McCann

Austin is the student ministries director at Redemption Chapel in Stow, OH. He has a BA from Piedmont International University in Christian Ministries with a student ministries focus. He also has Master of Arts in Religion with a Christian leadership focus from Liberty University School of Divinity. Austin enjoys reading, writing, playing basketball & golf, spending time with his wife, and sharing the Gospel with students and helping them live a Bible centered life.

3 thoughts on “What Miley Cyrus is Promoting to Your Teens”

  1. Austin – Thanks for the well written post, but I would love to better understand the basis for your conclusions. I see that you are an educated, serious person, so I am going to give you a serious response (I trust you will do the same w my comment)

    You open by saying music is a powerful tool in teaching morals, beliefs and attitudes – your central premise hinges on believing that by listening to music about drugs and/or promiscuity, children will integrate those values into their own. Is there evidence of this? (not anecdotal, but actual unbiased, academically rigorous evidence). I have young children who listen to pop music so I have looked into this a bit. My understanding of the research is:

    1 there is a slightly negative correlation between listening to pop music and deviant behaviour (ie kids listening to pop music express deviant behaviour at a lesser rate) ; and moreover;

    2. if there is a relationship between music and values development, the relationship is opposite to your claim. Evidence seems to show that people (including kids) choose music that represents the values they already have, as opposed to having their values influenced by the music (I don’t know if I agree with these conclusion, but if they are valid, you are confusing cause and effect in your argument).

    I can certainly understand parents having concerns with the lyrics in some pop songs (I certainly do) but to say it is values-forming seems, frankly, to be a a huge stretch.

    1. Thanks for the well-written response. You made some valid points and brought up some issues I have not thought too much about. I think the point you made about teens choosing music that fits their values rather than music shaping their values is an excellent point. I agree that many teens choose music based on their values, but I still believe many teens are shaped by the music they listen to.

      Coming from a Christian worldview perspective (I’m not sure if you are a Christian or not so we may disagree here), but we are told to take ever thought captive and to filter what we listen to with what honors and glorifies God. Also, the chief goal of man is to glorify God in all they do (including music).

      Thanks for reading this post and taking the time to interact.

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