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Sexual Objectification in Music Videos: A Content Analysis Comparing Gender and Genre

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Although sexual objectification is commonplace in media culture, music videos provide the most potent examples of it. In the current study, we developed a coding system to measure sexual objectification and its correlates in music videos. Our analysis compared sexual objectification across artists' gender and musical genres (R&B/hip-hop, pop, and country). Compared to male artists, female artists were more sexually objectified, held to stricter appearance standards, and more likely to demonstrate sexually alluring behavior. In addition, sexual objectification was more prominent in R&B/hip-hop and pop videos than in country videos. The results are discussed in light of objectification theory and sexual agency.
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Objectification in Music Videos
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Although sexual objectification is commonplace in media culture, music videos provide
the most potent examples of it. In the current study, we developed a coding system to measure
sexual objectification and its correlates in music videos. Our analysis compared sexual
objectification across artists’ gender and musical genres (R&B/hip hop, pop, and country).
Compared to male artists, female artists were more sexually objectified, held to stricter
appearance standards, and were more likely to demonstrate sexually alluring behavior.
Additionally, sexual objectification was more prominent in R&B/hip hop and pop videos than in
country videos. The results are discussed in light of objectification theory and sexual agency.
Keywords: Sexual objectification, music video, musical genre, sexual agency, gender
Objectification in Music Videos
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One of the most pervasive themes of contemporary media is the theme that an attractive
appearance and sexy body are among the most important goals young people, especially women,
can achieve. On television, in particular, music videos provide rather extreme illustrations of this
theme (Arnett, 2002). A consistent finding of content analyses is that music videos place a great
deal of emphasis on women’s appearance and sexual appeal (Seidman, 1992; Sommers-
Flanagan, Sommers-Flanagan, & Davis, 1993; Vincent, 1989; Vincent, Davis, & Boruszkowsi,
1987). However, most of this research is rather dated, using samples of music videos from the
1980s, which was when music videos became popular via the introduction of MTV in 1981.
We argue that music videos provide fertile grounds for examining how gender and
sexuality are portrayed in media because not only are love and sex predominant as themes
(Andsager & Roe, 1999; Greeson & Williams, 1987), but the visual nature of music videos make
shortcuts and sexual stereotypes commonplace (Andsager & Roe, 1999). They contain rather
potent messages with regard to gender and sexuality (Arnett, 2002; Jhally, 2008), thus making
them worthy of analysis. An examination of music videos is particularly important because of
their popularity among adolescents, who are likely refining their schemata regarding gender and
sexuality (Ward, Hansborough, & Walker, 2005). Thirteen percent of 11- to 14-year-olds
regularly watch music videos, which is on par with other television genres such as reality
television, talk shows, and news programs (Roberts & Froehr, 2004). Although music videos are
not the central programming strategy of MTV these days (Sharp, 2008), music videos are readily
accessible through MTV.com and on its sister network, MTV2, as well as other platforms (e.g.,
VH1, BET, iTunes, YouTube).
In addition to updating content analytic work on gender and sexuality in music videos
with a contemporary sample of music videos, we attempted to fill three gaps in the existing
literature. First, although studies have concluded that women are portrayed like sex objects in
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music videos (e.g., Sommers-Flanagan et al., 1993; Vincent et al., 1987), in general, sexual
objectification has been measured on a global level. A goal of the present study was to gauge
specifically how sexual objectification is employed in music videos, using objectification theory
(Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997) as a framework to develop theoretically rigorous measurements
of sexual objectification.
Second, attention has not been paid to the matter of whether the artists in particular are
sexually objectified. Instead, most content analyses have coded for gender stereotypical
behaviors on a character level (e.g., King, Laake, & Bernard, 2006; Sommers-Flanagan et al.,
1993), coding any person who appears in the music video. We argue that a focus on the artist is
important because music videos allow viewers a glimpse of the musicians, not only augmenting
the potential of adoration and idolization of the performers, but also increasing the meaning
viewers attach to their actions (Sun & Lull, 1986). Furthermore, we argue that attention should
also be paid to the gender of the artist. A female artist who portrays herself as a sex object in her
own music video sends a considerably different message than a male artist who sexually
objectifies female extras or actresses in his video. Thus, another goal of the present research was
to examine how portrayals of sexual objectification, appearance, and sexualization vary by the
gender of the artists.
The third gap that our study sought to fill was an investigation of musical genre in our
analysis of gender- and sexuality-related themes depicted in music videos. Certainly, not all
genres are equal in this regard. Perhaps the most maligned musical genre in terms of anti-social
themes is rap/hip hop, which has been accused of promoting controversial messages dealing with
violence, sex, and materialism (Johnson, Jackson & Gatto, 1995; Smith, 2005). Indeed, a recent
content analysis confirmed that these themes are well-represented in current rap videos (Conrad,
Dixon, & Zhang, 2009). Additionally, rap and hip hop are the most popular genres among
Objectification in Music Videos
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adolescents. The Generation M Report by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF, 2005) found that
of 7th- to 12th-graders who listened to CDs, tapes, or MP3s the previous day, the proportion who
listened to rap/hip hop was 65%, a higher proportion than any of the other 14 genres measured.
In contrast to rap/hip hop, the country genre is known for its socially conservative themes
(Andsager & Roe, 1999; Freudiger & Almquit, 1978; Wilson, 2000), which corresponds with
less emphasis on sexuality and physical appearance for women than other genres of music.
Perhaps because of the conservatism, country music is much less popular with adolescents than
rap/hip hop. Only 18% of 7th- to 12th-graders who listened to CDs, tapes or MP3s the previous
day listened to country music (KFF, 2005). Perhaps a middle ground is pop music. Although
previous research has suggested that pop music is rife with sexual stereotypes, it is less likely to
have other antisocial themes, such as violence and drug use (Hansen & Hansen, 2000)1. Taken
together, it would be reasonable to expect differences in gender- and sexuality-related messages
between musical genres.
In sum, the present research utilizes content analysis to investigate messages regarding
sexual objectification, appearance, and sexuality in music videos. Our goals were to investigate
whether these messages varied by (1) gender of artists and (2) genre of the music video.
Literature Review
Music Video Studies
When MTV went on cable in 1981, the popularity of music videos exploded (Hansen &
Hansen, 2000). Unsurprisingly, the popularity of music videos led many scholars and critics to
worry about the possible antisocial effects of exposure to this genre. Early content analyses
showed that anywhere from 40% to 75% of music videos contained sexual imagery (Baxter, De
Riemer, Landini, Leslie, & Singletary, 1985; Gow, 1990; McKee & Pardun, 1996).
Consequently, experimental studies examined whether music videos had short-term effects on
Objectification in Music Videos
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young people’s sexual attitudes. Evidence suggested that undergraduate students and teenagers
who were exposed to music videos featuring sexual content were more likely to endorse casual
and stereotypical attitudes about sex than those assigned to a control group (Calfin, Carroll, &
Shmidt, 1993; Greeson & Williams, 1986; Ward et al., 2005). Additionally, correlational studies
showed that music videos predicted permissive sexual attitudes (Strouse & Buerkel-Rothfuss,
1987) and a stronger acceptance of women as sexual objects (Ward, 2002).
Both dated and more recent content-analytic work has supported the idea that permissive
sexual attitudes, exploitation, objectification, and degradation are prominent in music videos
(Conrad et al., 2009; Gow, 1996; Sommers-Flanagan et al., 1993). In a recent content analysis of
rap music videos, Conrad et al. (2009) discovered that female characters often were in positions
of submission when compared to male characters. This finding was similar to earlier research
showing that women in music videos often appeared to be placed in positions of sexual
submission to their male counterparts (Baxter et al., 1985). Similarly, content analyses have
suggested that women are also portrayed as sex objects by the use of revealing clothing; female
characters’ skimpy dress typically reveals a high degree of skin exposure (Conrad et al., 2009;
King et al., 2006; Seidman, 1999).
Additionally, several studies have examined general gender-role traits and behaviors, and
they again confirmed that the world of music videos is rife with stereotypes. Men in music
videos were more aggressive, domineering, and violent than female characters (Seidman, 1992;
1999). At the same time, they were also likely to be shown as being wanted by attractive women
(Orange, 1996). In contrast, female characters were affectionate, nurturing, and dependent
(Siedman, 1992; 1999) with a heavy emphasis on their sexual appeal (Vincent, 1989).
Theoretical Framework: Objectification Theory
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To guide our examination of sexual objectification in music videos, we used
objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997) as a theoretical framework. Objectification
theory proposes that sexual objectification of women’s bodies by the media teaches women to
internalize an outsiders’ perspective on the self such that they come to see themselves as objects
to be evaluated by others, a tendency called self-objectification. Women who self-objectify have
been shown to be at greater risk not only for negative feelings toward their bodies (e.g.,
Calogero, 2004; Noll & Fredrickson, 1998; Tiggemann & Lynch, 2001), but also for mental
health problems such as depression and disordered eating (e.g., Noll & Fredrickson, 1998; Slater
& Tiggemann, 2002).
Fredrickson and Roberts (1997) contended that media contribute to the culture of sexual
objectification. Others have elaborated on this assumption, arguing that the media provide not
only an important socializing function for the development of a trait level of self-objectification
(Aubrey, 2006; 2007), but also a key eliciting condition in temporarily activated state self-
objectification (Aubrey, Henson, Hopper, & Smith, 2009; Harrison & Fredrickson, 2003). The
media do this by sexually objectifying bodies, which “occurs whenever a person’s body, body
parts, or sexual functions are separated out from his or her person, reduced to the status of mere
instruments, or regarded as if they were capable of representing him or her” (Fredrickson &
Roberts, 1997, p. 175). The main ways that media enact sexual objectification are via (1) the
visual presentation of bodies and (2) the thematic content that emphasizes the importance of
bodies and appearance.
Defining Sexual Objectification
When one is objectified, he or she has little agency and is typically acted upon by others.
In contrast, a subject thinks, feels, experiences, and drives the action (Aubrey et al., 2009). Thus,
to operationalize sexual objectification, we revisited the conceptual definition offered by
Objectification in Music Videos
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Fredrickson and Roberts (1997): “The common thread running through all forms of sexual
objectification is the experience of being treated as a body (or collection of body parts) valued
predominantly for its use to (or consumption by) others” (p. 174). In our view, this definition
suggested at least three ways in which sexual objectification could be operationalized in a visual
sense.
First, an obvious way in which sexual objectification could be conveyed is through body
exposure. The definition of sexual objectification specifically mentioned the representation of a
woman as a “collection of body parts” (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997, p. 174), suggesting that
sexual objectification occurs whenever body parts are on display. We focused on those body
parts that are associated with sexual activity and/or the demarcation of biological sex (e.g.,
cleavage/chest, buttocks, and pelvis). This operationalization is in line with content analyses that
have defined sexual objectification as instances in which the focus is on isolated body parts
(Seidman, 1999; Sommers-Flanagan et al., 1993). Thus, our first set of research questions
focused on the extent to which each body part was exposed, comparing between gender and
genre.
Research question 1a: Will the amount of body parts revealed by artists differ by gender?
Research question 1b: Will the amount of body parts revealed by artists differ by genre?
Second, the conceptual definition of sexual objectification stressed that women’s bodies
were “valued predominantly for its use to (or consumption by) others” (Fredrickson & Roberts,
1997, p. 174). Thus, to actually show that a body is vulnerable to “consumption” by others,
another operationalization of sexual objectification was to measure the extent to which artists
were shown being checked out (i.e., looked at or touched) by spectators in the video. This
definition shared conceptual ground with Mulvey’s (1975) notion of the gaze, which is invoked
when visual media linger on bodies or body parts, instead of focusing on the face or the total
Objectification in Music Videos
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subject. The gaze expresses an asymmetric power relationship between the gazer and the gazed,
i.e., one imposes an unwanted gaze upon the other. The emphasis on the body denies the subject
human agency and instead relegates him or her to the status of objects. Although Mulvey’s
argument was that the gaze is inherently male (i.e., culturally, men have more power to enact the
gaze and thus relegate women to the status of objects), in the current study, our definition of the
gaze was not a priori male. Instead, we investigated both (1) the extent to which both male and
female artists enacted the gaze on others and (2) the extent to which they received the gaze from
others. Our second set of research questions investigated the presence of gaze by gender and
genre.
Research question 2a: Will the presence of gaze differ in music videos of female artists
versus male artists?
Research question 2b: Will the presence of gaze differ by genre?
Whereas the first two sets of research questions focused on visual elements of sexual
objectification, the third operationalization focused on a thematic element. Another way that
persons can be valued primarily for what they look like is to function as decorative objects in
music videos. Previous content analyses of music videos have revealed that this situation is
especially common for female characters in rap/hip hop videos, where women’s primary
function is often to “flank” male artists, wearing revealing clothing, so as to portray an image of
sexual bravado in which the artist is seen as powerful in his ability to “collect” attractive women
(Fitts, 2003). In contrast to a decorative role, characters might take an “instrumental” role in the
talent and/or plot and action of the music video. In essence, an instrumental role is one in which
characters are valued for their contributions above and beyond their appearance (Harrison &
Fredrickson, 2003). For example, Gow’s (1996) content analysis of music videos found that
women were much less likely to be in the role of artists as they were to be in the roles of dancers
Objectification in Music Videos
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and models. Thus, in the present analysis, we examined the extent to which characters (both
female and male) were seen in decorative roles, again examining gender and genre differences:
Research question 3a: Does the use of male and/or female characters as decorative
objects differ by gender of the artist?
Research question 3b: Will the portrayal of male and/or female characters as decorative
objects vary by genre?
Together, we argue that these three variables – skin exposure, gaze, and the decorative
role of characters – combined to represent a theoretically rigorous measurement of sexual
objectification. However, in addition to sexual objectification, we measured two other gendered
messages in music videos: appearance and sexualization.
Previous content analyses of music videos show that for women, there is a heavy
emphasis on physical appearance and sexual attractiveness (e.g., Hansen & Hansen, 2000).
Extending this argument, we tested the notion that female artists would need to conform to
stricter standards in terms of their facial attractiveness and body shape than male artists.
Additionally, based on previous research that has suggested that country music videos placed
less emphasis on women’s physical appearance (Wilson, 2000) than other genres, particularly
rap/hip hop (Conrad et al., 2009), we also investigated whether these appearance variables would
differ by genre.
Research question 4a: Will facial attractiveness of music video artists differ by gender?
Research question 4b: Will facial attractiveness of music video artists vary by genre?
Research question 5a: Will the idealized body shape standards of artists differ by gender?
Research question 5b: Will the idealized body shape standards of artists vary by genre?
In music videos, research has also shown that women are valued for their ability to use
their bodies to be sexually alluring (Andsager & Roe, 1999; Seidman, 1992; Vincent, 1989). For
Objectification in Music Videos
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example, Sommers-Flanagan et al. (1993) found that female characters in music videos were
more likely than male characters to exhibit behaviors meant to elicit sexual arousal (e.g., lip
licking, stroking one’s body, pelvic thrusting). Also, content analyses have shown that female
characters in music videos were more likely than male characters to wear sexually provocative
attire in music videos (King et al., 2006; Seidman, 1992, 1999). Another way that women in
music videos attempt to be sexually alluring is through seductive dancing, typically for male
observers (Arnett, 2002). Thus, in our final set of research questions, we examined whether
music videos’ use of “sexualization” (measured by a globalized sexualization rating, the
observance of provocative dress, and the use of sexualized dance) differed by gender and genre.
Research question 6a: Will sexualization of artists in music videos differ by gender?
Research question 6b: Will the sexualization of artists in music videos vary by genre?
Research question 7a: Will the presence of provocative attire differ by gender?
Research question 7b: Will the presence of provocative dress differ by genre?
Research question 8a: Will sexualized dance (both by artists and by background dancers)
vary by gender?
Research question 8b: Will the use of sexualized dance (both by artists and background
dancers) differ by genre?
Method
Sample
To construct the sample, we chose songs that were in the Top 10 of the “Hot 100”
Billboard charts from March 2007 through September 2008 for three genres: pop, R&B/hip hop2,
and country. First, to construct a sample frame for each genre, we stratified the sample by genre,
compiling a list of the top 10 songs from each week of the 19 months in our sample period.
When songs remained on the chart for more than one week, we did not enter them multiple times
Objectification in Music Videos
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into the sample frame; thus, each song was only selected into the sample frame once. After the
three sample frames were constructed, we utilized simple random sampling (via a random
numbers table) to choose songs from each genre until we obtained a list of 50 videos from each.3
We had three inclusion criteria for the sample. First, the song had to have a corresponding music
video. Not every song that was on the list had a video attached with it, so, in that case, the song
was omitted from the sample frame. Second, the music video had to be available for viewing
through an online website. In most cases, the music videos were available on YouTube. In some
cases, we were able to view the video on the website for MTV, VH1, or BET. Third, the video
had to be registered on only one of the Billboard charts. That is the song could not be on the Top
10 for pop music at the same time that it was on the Top 10 for either country or hip hop. For
example, Jessica Simpson’s “These Boots Were Made for Walking” was on both country and
pop charts at the time of our sampling; thus, this song was passed over. In total, our sampling
strategy resulted in a total of 147 music videos (N = 50 for pop, N = 50 for R&B/hip hop, and N
= 47 for country4).
Because we did not deliberately stratify the sample by gender, it is not a surprise that the
sample had more male artists (65.3%, n = 96) than female artists (34.7%, n = 51). This is
consistent with trends in the music industry (Donze, 2007) and previous content analyses
showing that music videos are male-dominated (Andsager & Roe, 1999; Gow, 1995; Sommers-
Flanagan et al., 1993).
Coding
Coder Training
Two female undergraduate students served as coders. Training took place over five
weeks; each weekly session lasted between one and two hours; additionally, each coder engaged
in at least one hour of independent coding in between the training sessions. During these
Objectification in Music Videos
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sessions, the coders practiced on several music videos so that they and the investigators could
identify and resolve problems with the coding scheme. After the coding scheme was modified on
the basis of these practice rounds, coding was independent. The coders were not aware of any of
our expectations about the results.
Intercoder reliability was based on the coding of the two female undergraduate coders
plus the two authors. Reliabilities were computed based on the coding of 18 additional music
videos (not included in the final sample; six videos from each genre represented).The 18 videos
were similar in content to the videos that comprised the final sample; most came from the year
before the sampling period started for the final sample. Additionally, each video in the reliability
sample called for the use of the entire coding scheme. After reliability on each of the variables
was achieved, coding the final sample was done by the two undergraduate coders. The
investigators did not participate in the coding of the final sample. The coders were each assigned
to code roughly one-half of each genre. In total, coding the final sample took approximately 35-
40 hours.
Krippendorff’s α was used to assess reliability. Coefficients ranged from .68 to 1.0 with
an average of .83 (SD = .13). Each coefficient is reported in the following coding sections.
Units of Analysis
The music videos were coded on two levels: artist and overall music video. In the cases
of the solo artist, the artist was straightforwardly coded (e.g., Taylor Hicks, Kanye West, Fergie).
In the case of musical groups or bands, the most visible person representing the band or group
was coded (e.g., Rascal Flatts, Coldplay), which was typically the lead singer.
For two of the variables (decorative role, sexualized dance by background dancers), we
coded on the overall video level, taking into account the entire narrative of the video from start to
Objectification in Music Videos
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finish. This was a macro coding strategy, capturing the overall themes communicated by the
video.
Coding of Demographic Characteristics of Artists
Demographics of the artists were coded. Race was coded either as white/Caucasian,
black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian/Pacific-Islander, biracial, other, or cannot tell.
The artists’ names, skin tone, and biography (available on most artists’ websites or the Billboard
website) were used to make the coding decision for race (α = 1.0). Additionally, the artists’
gender was coded (α = 1.0). For age, coders indicated to which age group the artist looked like
he or she belonged. That is, we did not have the coders actually look up how old the artists were
because we were interested in the perceptions of age that were likely to be formed by the
audience. The coding categories included: teen (14-18); young adult (19-24), and adult (over 24).
Reliability for age was quite high (α = .94).
Coding of Sexual Objectification
Exposure of Body Parts. The artist’s skin exposure was coded for whether the artist was
naked/unclothed on each of the following any time during the video: cleavage (for female artists,
α = 1.0), chests with pectoral muscles exposed (for male artists, α = .78), butt cracks and/or
cheeks (α = 1.0), and stomach/pelvis (α = .70). We targeted these variables because we consider
these to be the sexualized parts of the body. The number of body parts exposed for each artist
was summed, with the possible range being from 0 (no body parts exposed) to 3 (all coded body
parts exposed).
Gaze. Gaze was defined as an explicit instance of “checking out” another’s body with a
sense of sexual longing or lust. We coded for both the artist being the target of the gaze (being
checked out by someone else) or being the perpetrator of the gaze (checking someone else out).
Objectification in Music Videos
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The coders simply indicated whether the gaze was present or absent for both the target variable
(α = .69) and the perpetrator variable (α = .68).
Decorative role. On the video level, we coded for whether male characters or female
characters played a merely decorative role in the music video. In other words, the value of
female characters’ and male characters’ presence in the video was coded globally, as either, yes,
it was valued, or no, it was not. Although the codebook allowed for the possibility that male
characters could serve these decorative roles in music videos, there were no instances in our
sample in which male characters were coded as decorative. Thus, the remaining variable for
decorative role only applied to female characters. Intercoder reliability for this variable was
sufficient, especially given the macro nature of this variable (α = .78).
Coding of Attractiveness
Facial attractiveness. Clearly, judgments of attractiveness can be highly subjective. Thus,
in coding facial attractiveness, we drew from previous work, which has summarized typical
qualities and features associated with cultural standards of attractiveness for men versus women
(Bashour, 2007; Cunningham, 1986; Cunningham, Barbee, & Pike, 1990; Davis, Shuster,
Dionne, & Claridge, 2001). For men, attractiveness was coded as having such features as a
strong jaw, a “baby” face, and a broad forehead. For women, attractive features included large
eyes, small nose, small chin, full lips, prominent and narrow cheek bones, and a broad smile.
Based on these criteria, coders chose from the following: attractive, average-looking,
unattractive. The intercoder reliability for this variable was satisfactory (α = .74).
Body shape. We also measured two variables to measure artists’ body shape. First, we
measured the degree of muscularity/muscle tone displayed by the artist in the video. Muscularity
was determined by the size of the artists’ muscles, whereas muscle tone was determined by
perceived muscle firmness and definition. This variable was coded on a three-point scale (3 =
Objectification in Music Videos
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very muscular/toned, 2 = average; 1 = not at all muscular/toned). The reliability was satisfactory
(α = .69)5.
Second, to approximate an ideal body shape, we assessed artists’ waist size as a measure
of slenderness. We chose to measure waist size because a slender waist is considered attractive
for both genders. That is, an hour-glass figure for women and a tapering V-shape figure for men
share a small waist in common (Swami, Antonakopoulos, Tovée, & Furnham, 2006). Waists
were coded as small, average, or large (α = .94).
Coding of Sexualization
Global sexualization. On the artist level, we coded a global “sexualization” variable,
defined as the artists’ attempts to be sexually alluring. Operationally, this was defined as a
combination of a variety of factors, including sexual movement, sexual posing, and seductive
facial expressions. The coding was again done on a three-point scale. In order to be coded as
“highly sexualized”, all three of the above factors had to be present. To be coded as the
“somewhat sexualized” rating, there could be either one or two of the above characteristics
present. And the “not sexualized” rating was reserved for those artists who did not exhibit any of
the above characteristics. Coding was adequately reliable (α = .80).
Provocative dress. Also on the artist level, we further coded the dress of the artist,
judging the provocative nature of the artist’s attire. If the artist was wearing sexually suggestive
clothing, he or she was coded in the “provocatively dressed” category. All others were coded as
not provocatively dressed. Coders reached perfect agreement on this variable (α = 1.0).
Sexualized dance. We measured whether the artist dances in a sexually suggestive way
(either yes or no). The intercoder reliability was acceptable (α = .83). Because music video artists
often do not dance alone, we also coded for the sexually suggestive dance of extra dancers,
Objectification in Music Videos
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defined as characters (either male or female) in the video who dance for the artist and/or next to
the artist (α = 1.0).
Data Analysis
To investigate the research questions, we used two data analysis approaches based on the
level of measurement of the variables. For the one continuous variable – overall skin exposure
that ranged from no body parts exposed to three body parts exposed – we conducted an
independent t test (for gender) and a one-way ANOVA (for genre). Second, because we regarded
all remaining variables as categorical, two-way chi-square tests were conducted to determine if
the distribution among categories was not equal. Then, in order to investigate pairwise
comparisons among distributions with more than two categories, we used Marascuilo contrasts,
which allow for pairwise comparisons between categories that consist of proportion data (Glass
& Hopkins, 1996).
Results
To provide context for our results, first the demographics of the artists were assessed. As
already mentioned, male artists (65.3%, n = 96) were more frequent than female artists (34.7%, n
= 51) in the sample. The sample consisted of 53.1% (n = 78) white/Caucasian artists, 38.1% (n =
56) black/African-American artists, 6.8% (n = 10) biracial artists, and .7% (N = 1) as
Hispanic/Latino. The race of two of the artists could not be identified. Roughly three-quarters of
the sample (76.2%, n = 112) was coded as adults; 21.8% (n = 32) was coded as young adult, and
the final 2.0% (n = 3) was coded as teen.
Also, because our results examined gender and genre differences, we also consider the
gender breakdown within each genre. Pop music has the most balance in terms of gender. Of the
50 pop videos, 56.0% (n = 28) were by female artists. Representing the gendered dynamics of
Objectification in Music Videos
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their genres, only 23.4% (n = 11) of the country music videos were by female artists, and only
24.0% (n = 12) of the R&B/hip hop music videos were by female artists.
Research Questions 1-3: Sexual Objectification of Artists in Music Videos
Research question 1a examined whether the number of exposed body parts varied by
gender of the artist. Results showed that female artists reveal significantly more body parts on
average (M = 1.02, SD = .79) than male artists (M = .27, SD = .69), t(145) = 5.97, p < .001. In
answer to research question 1b, we ran a one-way ANOVA to examine whether the number of
exposed body parts varied by genre. The model was not statistically significant, F(2, 144) = 1.96,
p = .15, indicating that there were not statistically significant variations in artists’ skin exposure
by genre.
For the remaining research questions, the gender differences are reported in Table 1, and
the genre differences are reported in Table 2.
Research question 2a investigated whether the presence of gaze differed between male
and female artists. The relationship between gender of the artist and the artist being the target of
the gaze was not statistically significant, χ2 (1, N = 146) = .00, p = .96, Cramer’s V = .00. Thus,
male and female artists were equally likely to be the target of the gaze in their music videos.
However, there was a statistically significant relationship between gender and the artist as the
perpetrator of the gaze, χ2 (1, N = 147) = 4.60, p = .03, Cramer’s V = .18. Of the music videos in
which the artist was the perpetrator of the gaze, 82.1% (n = 23) were the videos of male artists,
whereas 17.9% (n = 5) were the videos of female artists, a statistically significant difference.
Research question 2b investigated whether the presence of gaze in the music videos
varied by genre. The relationship between genre and the artist as target of the gaze was
statistically significant, χ2 (2, N = 146) = 28.04, p < .001. In particular, 76.9% (n = 22) of the
music videos in which the artists were the targets of the gaze was R&B/hip hop videos, which
Objectification in Music Videos
18
was significantly more than the 23.1% (n = 6) in the pop genre. (There were no country videos
with artist as the target of the gaze.) Further, the relationship between genre and artist as the
perpetrator of the gaze was also statistically significant, χ2 (2, N = 147) = 6.41, p = .04. The
R&B/hip hop genre had the most videos that portrayed the artist as the perpetrator of the gaze,
71.4% (n = 20), which was significantly more than the 21.4% (n = 6) in the pop genre, as well as
7.2% (n = 2) in the country genre.
Research question 3a examined the extent to which male and female characters are
decorative in music videos. However, the coders did not observe any videos that featured male
characters in a decorative role. Thus, research question 3a was only able to capture women
serving in a decorative role, and on the whole, only 23.1% (N = 34) of the music videos were
coded as portraying women in primarily decorative roles. We further examined whether this
varied by gender of the artist. Not surprisingly, there was a statistically significant relationship
between these two variables, χ2 (1, N = 147) = 16.78, p < .001, Cramer’s V = .34. Of the 34
music videos that coded women as primarily decorative, all but one, 97.1% (N = 33) was male
artists’ videos, which was significantly higher than the decorative role of women in female
artists’ videos.
Research question 3b examined the portrayal of women in decorative roles by genre. A
statistically significant relationship was found, χ2 (2, N = 147) = 21.52, p < .001, Cramer’s V =
.38. Pairwise comparisons indicated that R&B/hip hop videos were the most likely to feature
women as decorative (64.7%, n = 22), which was significantly more than pop (20.6%, n = 7) and
country (14.7%, n = 5). Pop and country, however, did not differ from each other.
Research Questions 4-5: Appearance Ideals in Music Videos
Research question 4a examined whether female artists conformed to stricter facial
attractiveness ideals than male artists. The results of a two-way χ2 examining the relationship
Objectification in Music Videos
19
between gender or artist and facial attractiveness was statistically significant, χ2 (2, N = 147) =
28.13, p < .001, Cramer’s V = .44. Pairwise comparisons confirmed that female artists were
coded as having a higher level of facial attractiveness than male artists. Of all the artists who
were coded as attractive, 56.9% (n = 37) were female artists, whereas the remaining 43.1% (n =
28) were male artists. The difference was statistically significant. Correspondingly, as shown in
Table 2, artists who were coded as average and unattractive in their facial attractiveness were
statistically significantly more likely to be male than female.
Research question 4b examined facial attractiveness by genre. Although the results
revealed a marginally significant relationship, χ2 (4, N = 147) = 9.29, p = .054, Cramer’s V = .25,
the pairwise comparisons indicated that within the three levels of categories of facial
attractiveness, there were no statistically significant differences by genre.
Research question 5a examined gender and genre differences in body ideals through the
coding of two variables: waist size and muscularity/tone. In relations to research question 5a, the
results of two separate two-way χ2 analyses demonstrated gender differences in both waist size,
χ2 (2, N = 118) = 23.21, p < .001, Cramer’s V = .44, and in muscularity/tone, χ2 (2, N = 78) =
17.70, p< .001, Cramer’s V = .48. For waist size, female artists (85.7%, n = 18) were more likely
to be coded as having a small waist than male artists. Correspondingly, male artists were more
likely to be coded as having average (67.9%, n = 54) and large waists (78.9%, n = 15) than
female artists. All were statistically significant differences. For gender differences in
muscularity/tone, the results demonstrated that male artists were significantly more likely to be
coded as both very muscular (78.9%, n = 15) compared to female artists, and female artists were
significantly more likely to be coded as average in muscularity/tone (74.5%, n = 38). Because
there were only eight artists coded as “not at all” muscular, it was not possible to adequately
assess gender differences in that category.
Objectification in Music Videos
20
Research question 5b, investigating genre differences in waist size and muscularity/tone,
did not yield statistically significant differences by genre. The χ2 analysis for waist size by genre
was not statistically significant, χ2 (4, N = 118) = 7.47, p = .11, and although the overall χ2
statistic was significant for genre by muscularity/tone, χ2 (4, N = 78) = 10.05, p = .04, Cramer’s
V = .25, the pairwise comparisons indicated that there were no significant differences within
each category of muscularity/tone. Thus, the results show that ideals related to body shapes do
not appear to vary by genre in popular music videos.
Research Questions 6-8: Sexualization in Music Videos
Research question 6a examined gender differences in the sexualization of the artists. The
results of the two-way χ2 analysis revealed a statistically significant relationship between gender
of the artist and the global sexualization rating for the artists, χ2 (2, N = 147) = 34.05, p < .001,
Cramer’s V = .48. Female artists were more likely to be in the “very” (87.5%, n = 14) and
“somewhat” sexualized categories (63.1%, n = 16) than male artists. Correspondingly, male
artists were more likely to be in the “not at all” sexualized category (77.7%, n = 87).
Research question 6b examined sexualization by genre. The results of the two-way χ2
analysis examining the relationship between genre and global sexualization was not statistically
significant, χ2 (2, N = 147) = 2.98, p = .23. Thus, sexualization did not vary by genre.
For research question 7a, we investigated whether there were gender differences in
provocative dress. The results revealed a statistically significant relationship between gender and
provocative dress, χ2 (2, N = 147) = 41.93, p < .001, Cramer’s V = .53. The pairwise
comparisons indicated that female artists were significantly more likely to be coded as
provocatively dressed (83.9%, n = 26) than male artists. For research question 7b, the χ2 analysis
tests for the models examining genre by dress was statistically significant, χ2 (2, N = 147) =
12.82, p = .002, Cramer’s V = .30. Of the 31 artists coded as provocatively dressed, 58.1% (n =
Objectification in Music Videos
21
18) were pop artists, significantly more than country (9.7%, n = 3), but not significantly more
than R&B/hip hop (32.3%, n = 10).
Finally, research question 8a investigated whether there was a statistically significant
relationship between gender and artists’ engaging in sexualized dance. The results yielded a
statistically significant relationship, χ2 (1, N = 147) = 17.70, p < .001, Cramer’s V = .48. Female
artists (84.2%, n = 16) were more likely to engage in sexually suggestive dance than male artists.
There was a statistically significant relationship between gender and artists’ use of extra dancers
who engage in sexualized dance, χ2 (1, N = 147) = 6.41, p = .01, Cramer’s V = .21, but in this
case, male artists were more likely to have extra dancers who engage in sexualized dance
(82.9%, n = 29) than female artists. Also an important point in contextualizing this finding is that
all but two music videos in the sample used female backup dancers.6 When they were in music
videos, male backup dancers were not coded as sexualized.
In relation to research question 8b, although the artists’ sexual dance by genre model was
statistically significant, χ2 (2, N = 147) = 6.41, p = .04, Cramer’s V = .21, the pairwise
comparisons revealed that there were no statistically significant differences between genres.
However, the use of sexually suggestive dance by extras did vary by genre, χ2 (2, N = 146) =
25.27, p < .001, Cramer’s V = .42. Of the 35 music videos with extras dancing in a sexually
suggestive way, 68.6% (n = 24) was in the R&B/hip hop genre which was significantly more
than the pop genre (22.8%, n = 8) as well the country genre (8.6%, n = 3).
Discussion
Content analyses of music videos have certainly dwindled since an explosion of research
in the 1980s and 1990s, and this is probably because many researchers perceive music video
programming to be less relevant now that the major music channels (e.g., MTV) do not use
music videos as the backbone of their programming strategy anymore. Rather than dismissing
Objectification in Music Videos
22
the cultural importance of music videos, we argue that they can still be a rather potent medium,
especially for young viewers, because they provide rather salient imagery related to norms
around gender (Jhally, 2007). The issue is not how much they are exposed to music videos, but
whether they are exposed at all. Thus, one of the main goals of the present study was to update
content analytic work that has been done on music videos, mostly during the 1980s (Seidman,
1992; Sommers-Flanagan et al., 1993; Vincent, 1989; Vincent et al., 1987). Whereas much of the
previous research examined broad themes related to how female characters are portrayed in
music videos, the present study examined specific visual and behavioral features of sexual
objectification that were based on objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997). The
present research suggests that female artists in both the pop and R&B/hip hop genres regularly
use sexual objectifying behaviors (e.g., dance) and styling (e.g., dress) to portray themselves.
Thus, an implication of the current research is to further consider how audiences might interpret
the apparent choice of female artists to sexually objectify the self. We argue that a focus on the
artist is important because music videos allow viewers a glimpse of the musicians, not only
augmenting the potential of adoration and idolization of the performers, but also increasing the
meaning viewers attach to their actions (Sun & Lull, 1986). Thus, the message of these music
videos to viewers who idolize these artists might be that female artists are appreciated more for
their bodies and their sexual attractiveness than for their talents.
Summary of Key Findings
Gender Differences
Based on objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997), one of our primary goals
in the present study was to measure gender differences in sexual objectification, drawing on
theoretically derived indicators of sexual objectification. Not surprisingly, the findings suggest
that female artists were more sexually objectified than male artists. The first two of the three
Objectification in Music Videos
23
sexual objectification variables focused on visual elements of music videos that serve to train
viewers’ eyes on bodies: the baring of sexual body parts and the use of gaze. These visual
techniques conform to the conceptual definition of sexual objectification; the common thread
being that they reduce people to their bodies. Thus, in line with objectification theory,
contemporary music videos serve to reinforce the cultural notion that women are valued first and
foremost for their bodies and their appearance.
Moreover, that male artists were significantly more likely to engage in a rather manifest
operationalization of the gaze, i.e., the artist gazing at female characters with sexual desire, falls
in line with Mulvey’s (1975) notion of the male gaze. Although women can engage in such gaze,
in fact, men are traditionally more likely to be seen doing it (e.g., Seidman, 1992; 1999), which
supports the theoretical idea that men are granted more power to perpetrate the gaze.
In addition to the visual techniques of sexual objectification, we also coded another
variable intended to gauge sexual objectification from a more thematic perspective. That is, we
measured the extent to which male and female characters in music videos were placed in merely
decorative roles (i.e., “arm candy”, dancing in the background) versus instrumental roles in
which they contribute to plot and/or music. The music videos of male artists were more likely
than those of female artists to portray women as merely decorative objects. Thus, this finding is
in line with research that has found that for male artists, one of the ways they demonstrate their
power is through collecting women, who do not necessarily contribute creatively or narratively
to the music video but instead add only to the visual backdrop (Orange, 1996; Sandusky, 2002).
It is also telling that our coders did not observe any music videos in which male characters took
on a similar decorative role.
Not only in a global way were female artists more sexualized than male artists, but also in
specific ways, female artists more often used dance and dress to appear sexually alluring than
Objectification in Music Videos
24
male artists. In particular, the results revealed that male artists were less likely to use their own
sexuality, but they were more likely than female artists to have extras dancing in sexually
suggestive ways, and they were more likely than female artists to have women in their music
videos play purely decorative roles. Again, this supports the idea that for male artists, the display
of attractive women’s bodies is seen as self-promotion of the artists (Fitts, 2008).
Further, female artists adhered to stricter appearance standards with regard to facial
attractiveness and waist size, which, again, might communicate to audiences that female artists
are not only judged on talent but also appearance, at least more so than male artists. That is, they
have stricter appearance standards to maintain than their male counterparts. For example, one
need only look to the constant criticism that Kelly Clarkson’s receives regarding her body shape
(e.g., Snead, 2009) to illustrate the notion that female artists are held to different appearance
standards than male artists. After all, there has been comparatively little controversy regarding
the body shapes of some of the male artists in our sample who are objectively overweight (e.g.,
Rick Ross, Fat Joe, Sean Kingston).
Genre Differences
Of the three genres, country music videos were the least likely to portray sexuality or to
portray sexual objectification of women’s bodies. While one interpretation of these findings is
that portrayals of women are more progressive in country music videos, another is to view this
finding in line with the socially conservative nature of country music (Andsager & Roe, 1999;
Wilson, 2000). For example, Freudiger and Almquit (1978) argue that in the predominantly
white, working-class world of country music, women are viewed simply as supportive,
submissive, and dependent. On the other hand, men in the world of country music are regarded
as aggressive, demanding, active, and confident. The present study shows that unlike pop and
hip hop music, country music videos, for the most part, maintain a traditional view of gender.
Objectification in Music Videos
25
Further, it was somewhat surprising, given the many criticisms against the R&B/hip hop
genre for its portrayal of women (e.g., Conrad et al., 2009; Johnson et al., 1995; Smith, 2005),
that there were few differences in sexual objectification between R&B/hip hop and pop music. If
this is the case, one might wonder why pop music is not as maligned as R&B/hip hop. As already
reported, R&B/hip hop videos were dominated by male artists (76.0%, n = 38), pop videos were
more gender-balanced, actually having slightly more female artists (56.0%, n = 28). Given the
gender difference results already reported, we have discovered that female artists are more likely
to engage in sexual objectification than male artists. However, this is not to say that R&B/hip
hop does not feature sexual objectification of women. Rather, these videos tended to sexually
objectify female characters within the videos or other background dancers, rather than the artists
themselves. For example, R&B/hip hop videos featured more extras dancing in sexually
suggestive ways than pop, more use of the gaze (both received and administered), and more use
of women as decorative objects than pop videos.
Theoretical Implications
By and large, the results of the present content analysis re-affirm the presence of gender
stereotypes in music videos, in particular, stereotypes related to women’s appearance and
sexuality. Based on the findings here, we might conclude that in the world of music videos,
women’s roles are intimately connected to their sexuality and their ability to adhere to strict
appearance standards. However, an important theoretical caveat to these findings that women are
more sexually objectified than men is that the objectification is in female artists’ videos
themselves. It is not the case that sexual objectification only occurs in the music videos of male
artists. Rather, female artists have at least some, although certainly not complete, agency in how
they would like to represent themselves in their own music videos (Fitts, 2008). Indeed, scholars
have pointed to the importance of female artists, in a historically male-dominated music industry,
Objectification in Music Videos
26
to have a voice and to share their perspectives, not only in rap/hip hop (Rose, 1994), but also in
pop music (Douglas, 1994) and country music (Wilson, 2000). However, whereas female artists
have the opportunity to be empowering to women by illustrating female agency, one argument is
that portraying themselves as sex objects serves to undermine and disempower their agency
(Oware, 2009). In other words, the use of sexual objectification of female artists’ own bodies
might convey the message that for women, a primary way they can succeed in the music industry
is to sexually objectify themselves. For example, in a recent analysis of black female rap artists’
lyrics, Oware argued that although many songs in his sample were ostensibly empowering to
women, the simultaneous use of “female self-objectification, self-exploitation, and derogatory
and demeaning lyrics about women in general” (p. 787) ultimately reproduces and upholds
hegemonic, sexist notions of femininity. As McRobbie (2004) argues, these music videos are
symptomatic of a popular culture that contributes to the “undoing of feminism” (p. 255), through
the presentation of texts that oppose goals of equality while simultaneously masquerading as
enlightened and contemporary.
Additionally, the politics of post-feminism, and even the so-called third-wave feminism
movement, embrace a rhetoric of choice (Gill, 2007; Shugart, Waggoner, & Hallstein, 2001).
According to this thinking, women’s decisions to portray themselves in sexy ways convey a
sense of owning and loving one’s sexuality, and being empowered in the third-wave sense is
about having the power to make choices, no matter what the choices are. Thus, the female artists
who sexually objectify themselves might be interpreted by some audiences as empowering
because they are making the choice to embrace their own sexuality. Certainly, the results of our
content analysis cannot definitively resolve this debate; however, if third wave feminism
encourages women to make choices unrestrained by socially imposed gender role expectations,
then we might expect to see greater variability in women’s roles in music videos.
Objectification in Music Videos
27
To further examine this issue, we conducted a post-hoc analysis in which we looked at
four variables that measured visual sexual objectification and sexualization (skin exposure,
global sexualization, sexually suggestive dance, and sexually suggestive dress). We chose these
variables in particular because they all communicate an element of choice, i.e., an artist has at
least some voice in the clothes she wears, the movements she makes. Of the 147 music videos,
83 featured artists who did not engage in any of these variables. However, only 8.4% (n = 7) of
these artists were women; the clear majority of artists who did not engage in any sexual
objectification or sexualization was male (91.6%, n = 76). Thus, although the position of third-
wave feminism is that women can take advantage of a plethora of choices, in the world of music
videos, the roles appear to be constrained to their sexuality. Our findings beg for future audience
reception work, in which young people, particularly women, share their feelings and
interpretations of the use of sexual objectification amongst female artists.
In addition to qualitative audience reception studies, the findings here beg for future
effects-based work, investigating how the use of sexual objectification of female artists might
affect the self-perceptions of young people, particularly women. Both longitudinal research
(Aubrey, 2006) and experimental research (Aubrey et al., 2009; Harrison & Fredrickson, 2003)
have shown the exposure to sexually objectifying television can increase viewers’ definitions of
their physical selves in terms of externally perceivable traits rather than internal traits (i.e., self-
objectification). Given the findings of this study, this conclusion might extend to music videos.
Future research will need to explore this possibility further. Additionally, future research might
explore the role of agency of the female artists in these effects. That is, for women, it is possible
that seeing female artists sexually objectify themselves (through dance, dress, gaze) might have a
different effect on their self-perceptions than female characters who are sexually objectified in
the videos of male artists.
Objectification in Music Videos
28
Limitations and Future Directions
Although one of the contributions of the present study is the focus on the artists
themselves, it also deserves mention that two of the variables were measured at the level of the
entire music video. Clearly, this macro unit of analysis reduces the precision of the coding of the
variables. However, these variables were meant to give a global picture about the themes related
to sexual objectification as communicated through the entirety of the music video. In fact, we
decided to complement the coding that was done on the artist level with the video level to correct
for the considerable number of music video that featured a non-objectified artist (usually male)
against a backdrop of many objectified characters (usually female).
Although we used a probability-based method to select our music videos, the sample
frame is limited by the relatively narrow time period we chose to analyze (March 2007-
September 2008). Our goal was to analyze contemporary music videos, but given our sample
criteria, we chose a time period for which we could be certain that the videos would be available
via an online venue such as YouTube. Thus, our sample only generalizes to the music videos that
were on the Top 10 of the Billboard charts from March 2007 until September 2008. Our results
cannot address systematic trends related to sexual objectification that might occur outside of this
sample period. Future research will be needed to detect broader trends related to sexual
objectification in music videos.
Additionally, there were limitations in the coding procedures of the present content
analysis. First, both coders were women. Second, reliability was only assessed in the beginning
of coding; thus we cannot rule out the possibility that coder drift occurred.
Conclusion
The problematic representations of women in music videos deserve further research
attention because they likely affect other attitudes and self-perceptions as well, including
Objectification in Music Videos
29
attitudes toward sexuality, conceptions and understandings of masculinity and femininity, and
women’s rights. Just as is the case with teen movies (Callister et al., in press), video games
(Beasley & Standley, 2002), other teen media (Pardun, L’Engle, & Brown, 2005), we argue that
music videos provide an important souce of sexual socialization for young people. As the results
of this content analysis suggest, music videos provide fertile grounds to observe our cultural
values about femininity and masculinity. As Jhally (2007) states in his influential Dreamworlds
3:
Across the whole range of our media culture, the link between a woman’s identity, her
body, and her sexuality, is told in the most compelling of forms. But no where in popular
culture is the story more focused and told in such relentless fashion than in music videos.
Examining the stories that music videos tell us about both male and female sexuality,
about what is considered normal, allows us to do more than just understand one aspect of
our culture. It gives us a way to think about how the culture in general teaches us to be
men and women. It gives us a way to understand ourselves.
Indeed, analyzing popular images of gender within the music video context contributes to an
understanding of gender in contemporary media, and they may ultimately contribute to how
young people, especially girls and women, are socialized to see themselves.
Objectification in Music Videos
30
Notes
1 The Generation M (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2005) report did not measure 7th- to 12th-
graders preference for pop music, in particular. The most conceptually similar genre is Top 40,
and surprisingly only 17% of the sample had listened to that genre the previous day.
2 The Billboard charts measure the popularity of rap as a separate genre. We chose to sample the
more broadly defined R&B/hip hop genre because of its greater representation of female artists.
3 We chose 50 as a target sample size for each genre so that we could be assured that we would
have enough power for our estimated effect size (which was medium-to-small) based on our
expected genre differences (Cohen, 1988).
4 For the country sample, we could only obtain 47 songs that fit our inclusion criteria in our
sampling period.
5 Just over one-half (54.4%, N = 80) of the artists could be coded for muscularity/tone because
this variable could only be coded if the artist was wearing fitting clothing and/or a major muscle
group was exposed.
6 In one case, Britney Spears’ “Womanizer” video, the male back-up dancers performed in a
group with female dancers as well. In the other case, Rihanna’s “Please Don’t Stop the Music”,
one male character engaged in sexualized dance with Rihanna in a club setting.
Objectification in Music Videos
31
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Objectification in Music Videos
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Table 1
Gender Differences in all Categorical Variables
Female Artist (%)
Male Artist (%)
Total (n)
Target of Gaze
Present
34.6
65.4
26
Absent
34.5
65.5
119
χ2 (1, N = 146) = .00, Cramer’s V = .00
Perpetrator of Gaze
Present
17.9a
82.1b
28
Absent
39.5a
60.5b
118
χ2 (1, N = 146) = 4.60*, Cramer’s V = .18
Decorative Role of Women in Video
Present
2.9a
97.1b
34
Absent
45.1a
54.9a
113
χ2 (1, N = 147) = 16.78***, Cramer’s V = .34
Facial Attractiveness
Attractive
56.9a
43.1b
65
Average
24.0a
76.0b
50
Unattractive
6.3a
93.7b
32
χ2 (2, N = 147) = 28.13***, Cramer’s V = .44
Waist Size
Small
85.7a
14.3b
21
Average
32.1a
67.9b
78
Large
21.1a
78.9b
19
χ2 (2, N = 118) = 23.21***, Cramer’s V = .44
Muscularity
Very
21.1a
78.9b
19
Average
74.5a
25.5b
51
Not at all
37.5a
62.5a
8
χ2 (2, N = 78) = 17.70***, Cramer’s V = .48
Objectification in Music Videos
39
Global Sexualization
Very
87.5a
12.5b
16
Somewhat
63.1a
36.9b
19
Not at all
22.3a
77.7b
112
χ2 (2, N = 147) = 34.05***, Cramer’s V = .48
Provocative Dress
Present
83.9a
16.1b
31
Absent
21.6a
78.4b
116
χ2 (2, N = 147) = 41.93***, Cramer’s V = .53
Sexually Suggestive Dance by Artist
Present
84.2a
15.8b
19
Absent
27.3a
72.7b
128
χ2 (1, N = 147) = 17.70***, Cramer’s V = .48
Sexually Suggestive Dance by Extras
Present
17.1a
82.9b
35
Absent
40.5a
59.5b
111
χ2 (1, N = 147) = 6.41*, Cramer’s V = .21
Note. *p<.05; **p<.01; ***p<.001. Subscripts differing in the same row differed at p < .05.
Pairwise comparisons were conducted via Marascuilo contrasts. Pairwise comparisons were not
conducted on models in which the omnibus χ2 test was not statistically significant.
Objectification in Music Videos
40
Table 2
Genre Differences in All Categorical Variables
Pop (%)
R&B/Hip Hop
(%)
Country (%)
Total
Target of Gaze
23.1a
76.9b
0
26
35.8a
25.0a
29.2a
120
χ2 (2, N = 146) = 28.04***, Cramer’s V = .44
Perpetrator of Gaze
21.4a
71.4b
7.1a
28
38.1a
28.0a
39.8a
118
χ2 (2, N = 147) = 6.41*, Cramer’s V = .21
Decorative Role of Women in Video
20.6a
64.7b
14.7a
34
27.4a
40.7a
38.9a
113
χ2 (2, N = 147) = 21.52***, Cramer’s V = .38
Facial Attractiveness
36.9a
30.8a
32.3a
65
44.0a
30.0a
26.0a
50
12.5a
46.9a
40.6a
32
χ2 (4, N = 147) = 9.29*, Cramer’s V = .25
57.1
19.0
23.8
21
30.8
32.1
37.2
78
26.3
47.4
26.3
19
χ2 (4, N = 118) = 7.47, Cramer’s V = .18
52.6a
31.6a
15.8a
19
21.6a
43.1a
35.3a
51
50.0a
50.0a
0
8
Objectification in Music Videos
41
χ2 (4, N = 78) = 10.05*, Cramer’s V = .25
Global Sexualization
68.8
18.7
12.5
16
31.6
42.1
26.3
19
29.5
34.8
35.7
112
χ2 (2, N = 147) = 2.98, Cramer’s V = .14
Provocative dress
58.1a
32.3a, b
9.7b
31
27.6a
34.5a
37.9a
116
χ2 (2, N = 147) = 12.82**, Cramer’s V = .30
Sexually Suggestive Dance by Artist
47.4a
36.8a
15.8a
19
32.0a
33.6a
34.4a
128
χ2 (2, N = 147) = 6.41*, Cramer’s V = .21
Sexually Suggestive Dance by Extras
22.8a
68.6b
8.6a
35
37.8a
23.4a
38.7a
111
χ2 (2, N = 146) = 25.27***, Cramer’s V = .42
Notes. *p<.05; **p<.01; ***p<.001. Subscripts differing in the same row differed at p < .05.
Pairwise comparisons were conducted via Marascuilo contrasts. Pairwise comparisons were not
conducted on models in which the omnibus χ2 test was not statistically significant.
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