A survey of Boston area teens who were asked about the recent dust-up between R&B singer Chris Brown and his megawatt girlfriend Rihanna offers some surprising insights into adolescent attitudes toward domestic violence.
Nearly half of the teens asked said that the alleged beating was Rihanna’s fault.
The survey on dating violence was conducted by the Boston Public Health Commission
and asked 200 teenagers and 20-somethings what they thought happened the night of the alleged altercation that led to Brown being charged with two felonies. Nearly half thought Rihanna bore the responsibility for the attack, 52 percent believe that they are both to blame.
After a February 8 incident that left Rihanna bruised and bloodied reports began to surface that the Barbados-born songbird flipped out over a series of tawdry text messages, leading some to believe the Rihanna was the catalyst for an abusive relationship.
A significant number those surveyed said Rihanna was destroying Chris Brown’s career, and females were no less likely than males to come to Rihanna’s defense.
Other results of the study are as follows:
- 71% said arguing was a normal part of a relationship
- 44% said fighting was a normal part of a relationship
- 51% said Chris Brown was responsible for the incident
- 46% said Rihanna was responsible for the incident
- 52% said both individuals were to blame for the incident, despite knowing at the time that
Rihanna had been beaten badly enough to require hospital treatment
- 35% said the media were treating Rihanna unfairly
- 52% said the media were treating Chris Brown unfairly
The study has sparked minor outrage among newspaper columnists. They have extrapolated the Boston study’s results to reflect the eroding family values in America.
“This is beyond disturbing. Somehow our children have learned that violence is an acceptable and appropriate response to a domestic disagreement. This is what children learn from media messages like this cover of broad-circulating supermarket tabloid Star, which purports to reveal "What made Chris snap". As if Rihanna could have said something to which the brutal attack of which Brown is accused was an understandable reaction. As if she stepped over the line and the vicious blows that bloodied her nose and mouth and swelled her eyes and forehead were justified.”
“Seriously? What the hell is wrong with kids? Or at least Boston kids?”
While the rest of the country grapples with that question, Rihanna herself is pushing back on media reports about her own career.
Last week the singer’s camp denied reports that she and Brown were recording a duet love song. Today Rihanna’s people are denying reports that the singer has been talking about transitioning to film.
The New York Daily News reported Monday that Rihanna was in talks to remake the 1992 hit “The Bodyguard,”
and star in the role that Whitney Houston occupied alongside Kevin Costner
. The newspaper also hinted that the singer was considering a “Charlies Angels” sequel as well as another movie with Justin Timberlake
, but a rep for Rihanna told MTV news that the rumors are false.
Published at 6:19 PM EDT on Jul 16, 2009 | Updated at 7:37 AM EDT on Mar 17, 2009