Is a subculture of hardcore punk whose adherents refrain from using alcohol, tobacco, and other recreational drugs. It was a direct reaction to the sexual revolution, hedonism, and excess associated with punk rock. For some, this extends to not engaging in promiscuous sex, following a vegetarian or vegan diet, and not using caffeine or prescription drugs. The term was coined bythe 1980s hardcore punk band Minor Threat in their song "Straight Edge".
Straight edge emerged amid the mid-'80s hardcore punk scene, in part as a reaction against the perceived "jock" element of the developing scene. Since then a wide variety of beliefs and ideas have been incorporated into the movement, including vegetarianism, animal rights, communism and Hare Krishna beliefs. In many parts ofthe United States and UK, straight edge is treated as a gang by law enforcement officials. A 2006 study suggested that the vast majority of people who identify as straight edge are nonviolent.
Straight edge grew out of the hardcore punk in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and was partly characterized by shouted rather than sung vocals. Straight edge individuals of this early era often associatedwith the original punk ideals such as individualism, disdain for work and school, and live-for-the-moment attitudes.[
Straight edge sentiments can be found in songs by the early 1980s band Minor Threat, most explicitly within their song "Straight Edge", first wave English punk band The Vibrators song "Keep It Clean" and Jonathan Richman's early band The Modern Lovers 1970s song "I'm Straight",which rejected drug use. As one of the few prominent 1970s hard rock icons to explicitly eschew alcohol and drug use, singer/guitarist Ted Nugent was also a key influence on the straight edge ideology.[
Straight edge started on the East Coast of the United States in Washington D.C., and quickly spread throughout the US and CanadaBy the 1980s, bands on the West Coast of the United States, suchas America's Hardcore (A.H.C.), Stalag 13, Justice League and Uniform Choice, were gaining popularity. In the early stages of this subculture's history, concerts often consisted of non-straight-edge punk bands along with straight edge bands. Circumstances soon changed and the early 1980s would eventually be viewed as the time "before the two scenes separated". Early straight edge bands included:the Washington D.C. bands Minor Threat, State of Alert(S.O.A.), Government Issue and Teen Idles; Reno's 7 Seconds; Boston's SSD, DYS and Negative FX; California bands as mentioned above; and New York City bands such as Cause for Alarm and The Abused.
By the early 1990s, militant straight edge was a well-known part of the wider punk and DIY scene. However, militant straight edge punks werenot known for being tolerant. They displayed outward pride, outspokenness, and showed a willingness to resort to violence in order to promote their sub-culture. In addition, the militant straight edge individual was characterized by being more conservative and less tolerant of homosexuality and abortion.
In the mid 1990s, a number of bands advocating social justice, animal liberation, veganism,and straight edge practices leaned towards metal. During the 1990s, the straight edge scene split into factions hardline and Krishna Consciousness.
By the beginning of the 2000s, only small groups of militant straight edge individuals remained. The decline in militant behavior has been linked to the lack of a well known straight edge band leading the movement. Contrary to news reportsthat portrayed straight edge as a gang, several studies have shown that straight edge individuals as a whole are mostly peaceful people. In the 2000s, there was a growing amount of tolerance of people who do not follow the straight edge lifestyle by straight edge individuals. In this incarnation of straight edge, the musical styles of the bands involved are more varied, ranging from a youth crew...