A group of Washington mothers is organizing to pressure the music industry to clean up what it sees as salacious rock songs detrimental to the development of children.
Pam Howar, spokeswoman for the group, says rock music "spreads violence, glorifies drug and alcohol abuse and blatant sexuality."
"Music makes the kids thinks it's okay to be rebellious; it pulls them in sinister directions," claims Howar. "The album covers look like something out of Hustler magazine."
The mother of a 7-year-old daughter, Howar, 43, believes kids "can't handle a lot of stuff they are hearing." The music, she says, creates alienation. "I don't know how you can raise a well-balanced young person who has been exposed to sadomasochism. I don't see how they can come out of it unscathed."
Howar and other mothers are meeting May 13 at 8 p.m. at St. Columba's Episcopal Church, 42nd and Albemarle streets NW, to discuss the influence of rock.
Dr. Joseph Novello, psychiatrist and director of The Gateway, a Washington drug treatment center, agrees that it is good for parents to know what rock is all about.
He would like to see "parents becoming more aware and taking active steps to make sure youngsters get the kind of information parents want them to get."
"Some of the lyrics," he says, "are chilling, but most kids are not devotees of that kind of heavy metal music; sometimes we mistake a small segment of rock music as standing for the whole."
Novello says he would not try to discourage parents from lobbying the music industry, "since that is part of our tradition," but he believes they will have less success in that direction than in helping their kids "deal with the world as it is."
"We don't live in an ideal world," he says. "But the individual parent can have a lot of impact on kids, though it must start long before adolescence. A youngster who goes into adolescence with a stable, strong sense of family values will be relatively insulated by that value system."