Does Exposure to Sexual Hip-Hop Music Videos Influence the Sexual Attitudes of College Students?
Kistler, M. E., & Lee, M. J. (2010). Does Exposure to Sexual Hip-Hop Music Videos Influence the Sexual Attitudes of College Students?. Mass Communication & Society, 13(1), 67-86. doi:10.1080/15205430902865336
You can find the article here.
“In this article they did a study using college students and they had them watch 5 music videos with varying degree of sexual content. Both women and men were in the test groups. The final outcomes were that men who were in the high sexualized video category agreed with the objectification of women, gender stereotypes, and acceptance of rape. The main videos that were shown were hip-hop videos, and that is due to the alarming amounts of sexualizing women in them. With a large amount of today’s youth listening to hip-hop music, they are going to be very influenced by what the artists are saying in their songs. With the points of interest they were studying being the objectification of women, gender stereotypes, and acceptance of rape, the most outrageous findings were how the males viewed rape after watching the highly sexual videos. Music videos are changing teenager’s and young adult’s thoughts on how women should be treated.
“Experimental evidence specifically addressing effects of music video is scarce, although the studies that do exist focus specifically on sexual aggression, rape myth acceptance, and gender stereotypes. Barongan and Nagayama Hall (1995) conducted an experiment whereby male participants were exposed to either misogynous rap music or neutral rap music, and then exposed to a sexually violent, an assaultive, and a neutral film vignette. Thirty percent of the men in the misogynous rap condition chose to show the sexually violent vignette to a female confederate, as compared to only 7% in the neutral condition, suggesting that exposure to misogynous rap facilitates sexually aggressive cognition and behavior. It seems reasonable, then, to conjecture that sexually themed music videos might have similar effects regarding sexual aggression. Kalof (1999) examined this very phenomenon and found that female undergraduates exposed to a sexually stereotyped music video indicated greater acceptance of interpersonal violence (i.e., violence within relationships) than those exposed to a neutral music video. She also found that both male and female participants in the sexually stereotyped condition indicated more adversarial sexual beliefs (e.g., the belief that sexual relationships are manipulative), gender role stereotyping, acceptance of interpersonal violence, and acceptance of rape myths than those in the neutral condition. Only one music video was used in each of the two conditions in this study; therefore it is difficult to decipher what exactly was manipulated as well as the success of the manipulation. In addition, the two music videos used were of different genres and neither video was of the hip-hop genre. “
Like most of my other articles about music videos, they are testing basically the same three things: gender stereotypes, rape myths, and sexual aggression. It has been shown that men that watch very sexual music videos tend to have a greater opinion of those three topics. What they watch definitely influences their thinking a lot, while the men in the neutral category had lower opinions. After females watch the sexualized videos they had a tendency to have a greater tolerance of interpersonal violence, which explains a lot about today’s young female population. If the male or female participant had watched the video with more sexual content, they pretty much had greater acceptance of gender stenotypes, interpersonal violence, and rape myths. The fact that women have a tendency to objectify their own gender just because they see other people doing it is ridiculous.
“The findings in this study can be interpreted within a theoretical framework, particularly social cognitive theory and parasocial interaction. Long-term exposure to such videos by fans of hip-hop music could provide vicarious models to emulate and serve to reinforce traditional gender attitudes and distorted sexual norms. On the other hand, those who find the depictions distasteful or unattractive can also utilize the information for 82 KISTLER AND LEE how not to think or behave. The fact that the hip-hop fandom was shown to be a significant predictor of objectification of women seems to support this concern. It could also be that individuals who already have such a belief are more likely to seek out media that reinforces that belief. Either way, the reciprocal pattern of this phenomenon may promote distorted sexual norms and its consequences.”
You are more likely to watch and read media that agrees with your beliefs. If you believe in typical gender stereotypes you will watch videos containing those same gender roles. The hip-hop genre keeps gaining popularity due to the fact that people who agree with what they are saying about women, will continue to listen and watch their music videos. The more people who watch the more popularity they will gain, and because of their growing acceptance they will think it is okay to continue with what they are doing. It is a long chain of events that perpetuates the objectification of women.