Although studies have documented the sexualization of women in music videos (see
Aubrey, 2009, Frisby & Aubrey, 2009), sexualizing content in the lyrics that accompany these
videos has not been documented as extensively. One study found that references to relationships,
romance, and sexual behavior are more commonplace in popular music lyrics and videos
(Christenson & Roberts, 1990). More recent research found that sexual content appears more
frequently in adolescents’ musical choices than in their television, movie, or magazine choices
(Pardun, L’Engle, & Brown, 2005). Unfortunately, there are no recent content analyses to
determine how often song lyrics frequently consumed by teens objectifies girls or women,
portrays violence, or relies on profanity in order to convey a particular message.
Content analyses have provided some support for the notion that most popular hip
hop/rap music appears to contain objectionable lyrics, increases aggressive behavior, and
attitudes and perpetuates misogyny (Ballard & Coates, 1995). In fact, many scholars note that
hip hop/rap lyrics tend to objectify, devalue, or subjugate women through the inclusion of
insulting and subordinating words such as “bitch, ho, and skeezer” (Ballard, Dodson, & Bazzini,
1999; McLeod, Evelant, & Nathanson, 1997; Pinn, 1996; Powell, 1991; Rose, 1994; Watts,
1997; Wingood, Diclemente, Bernhardt, Harrington, Davies, Robillard, & Hook, 2003). As part
of a study of the effects of listening to popular music on sexual behavior, Martino, Collins,
Elliott, Strachman, Kanouse, & Berry, (2006) coded the content of 164 songs from 16 artists
popular with the adolescent market. Overall, 15% of songs contained sexually degrading lyrics.
However, the study concentrated on songs and lyrics contained solely in rap and R&B music.
What is not known is if sexually explicit and violent lyrics will be found in other genres.
One analysis of hip hop and heavy metal songs from 1985 to 1990 found that hip hop was
more sexually explicit and graphic whereas heavy metal’s allusions to sexual acts or to male