Undressing the Words: Prevalence of Profanity, Misogyny, Violence, and Gender Role References in Popular Music from 2006-2016

Undressing the Words: Prevalence of Profanity, Misogyny, Violence, and Gender Role References in Popular Music from 2006-2016

 

CYNTHIA M. FRISBY & ELIZABETH BEHM-MORAWITZ
University of Missouri, Columbia
Media Watch 10 (1) 5-21, 2019
DOI: 10.15655/mw/2019/v10i1/49562

Are degrading sexual references more prevalent than non-degrading references in music popular with adolescents? The purpose of this study was to perform a content analysis of contemporary popular music with particular attention paid to the prevalence of violent, misogynistic, profane, and/or demeaning colloquial references. Billboard magazine was used to identify the top popular songs appearing on top music charts from 2006 through 2016. Data show songs with justified violence themes were most commonly found in hip-hop music, whereas songs with unjustified message themes were most often found in Pop music. The present study suggests that pop and hip-hop/rap music, genres popular with most adolescents today, use frequent references involving profanity, violence, and misogynistic themes.