Popular Music

The Full Report for the Division 46 Task Force on the Sexualization of Popular Music, chaired by Dr. Wright, is now available.

APA’s Division 46 (Society for Media Psychology & Technology) Task Force on the Sexualization of Popular Music

The Task Force on the Sexualization of Popular Music is chaired by Dr. Wright. The Task Force is not only diverse and interdisciplinary but also includes experts in the field from within the United States as well as abroad.

Task Force members include:

Dr. Chrysalis Wright: Chair

Dr. Dillman Carpentier from the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Dr. Lesley-Anne Ey from the School of Education at the University of South Australia in Adelaide, Australia

Dr. K. Megan Hopper from the School of Communications at Illinois State University

Dr. Wayne Warburton from the Department of Psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney Australia

Expert consultants to the Task Force include:

Dr. Sarah Coyne from the Department of Family Life at Brigham Young University

Dr. Jennifer Stevens Aubrey from the Department of Communications at the University of Arizona

Dr. L. Monique Ward from the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan

Dr. G. Glenn Cupit recently retired from the Institute of Early Childhood and Family Studies and School of Education at the University of South Australia in Adelaide, Australia and previous vice-President of the Australian Council on Children and the Media

Task Force Publications

 

Popular-Music Media Literacy: Recommendations for the Education Curriculum, accepted for publication (2019) in Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences

 

Popular Music Media Literacy for Middle School Students, published in the Spring 2019 issue of The Amplifier Magazine

A Summary of the Task Force Report on the Sexualization of Popular Music, published in the Fall 2018 issue of The Amplifier Magazine

“Where My Boys At?” The Need to Examine how Portrayals of Men in Popular Music Impact Male Body Image and Self-Esteem, published in the Winter 2017 issue of The Amplifier Magazine

“Media Smarts”: Examining Online Music Literacy, published in the Spring 2017 issue of The Amplifier Magazine

The Need for Music Literacy Education, published in the Winter 2016 issue of The Amplifier Magazine

Task Force Media Mentions

The UCF COS News reports on the release of the Task Force Report.

The UNISA School of Education Research Quarterly Newsletter (December 2018) reports the release of the Task Force Report.

Task Force Developed Popular Music Media Literacy

Members of the Task Force have started creating popular music media literacy materials. Here is a website for middle-school aged students. More media literacy is in the works.

Sexualization in Popular Music and the Need for Music Media Literacy

Dr. Wright and other members of the Task Force on the Sexualization of Popular music spoke about the need for music media literacy at the 2017 annual convention for the American Psychological Association

Publications Related to Popular Music

Sexualized Popular Music and Risky Sexual Behaviors Among Emerging Adults from the United States and Australia

Dr. Wright and Dr. Rubin from the University of Newcastle collaborated to examine the relationship between sexualized music, dating and sexual histories, and risky sexual behaviors among emerging adults from both the USA and Australia.Sexualization in music lyrics and videos were assessed using content analysis of the top artists rated by participants in each country. Results indicated variations in dating and sexual histories as well as risky sexual behaviors among participants from the USA and Australia. Participants from both countries reported greater exposure to sexualized music videos compared to music lyrics. Additionally, USA participants reported greater exposure to sexualized music videos compared to participants from Australia, who reported greater exposure to sexualized music lyrics. Dr.’s Wright and Rubin addressed four specific research questions as this research was exploratory in nature. They found that increased exposure to sexualized content in music lyrics and videos mediated the relationship between location (USA, Australia) and engagement in risky sexual behaviors.

For further information please see the following article:

Wright, C. L., & Rubin, R. (in press). Sexualized popular music and risky sexual behaviors among emerging adults from the United States and Australia. The Howard Journal of Communications.

“Love Me!” Examining the Effect of Music Censorship on Sexual Priming and Sexual Cognitions

Dr. Wright and students Maria Toro Arenas, Priscilla Martinez, Kathryn McMullen, and Rhea Philip conducted a quasi-experimental study that examined the relationship between exposure to sexual content in music, sexual priming, and sexual cognitions. Participants included 165 male and female emerging adult college students. Participants were randomly assigned to four experimental conditions where they viewed either (1) music videos containing explicit sexual lyrics, (2) the same music videos with censored lyrics, (3) music videos with no explicit content, or (4) no videos. Participants in each group then completed a 30-second timed word-completion task, developed for this study, as a measure of sexual priming followed by items related to sexual cognitions. Results indicated that exposure to censored or uncensored music videos containing sexual content was associated with increased sexual priming, indicating that music censorship is ineffective in prohibiting viewers awareness of explicit material. However, this was a short-term effect as sexual priming was not related to participants’ reported sexual cognitions.

For further information please see the following article:

Wright, C. L., Toro Arenas, M., Martinez, P., McMullen, K., & Philip, R. (2018). “Love me!” Examining the effect of music censorship on sexual priming and sexual cognitions. Media Psychology Review, 12(1).

Music and Substance Use: A Meta-Analytic Review

Dr. Wright and students Tia Ball, Kaleigh Kambour, Lygia Machado, Taylor DeFrancesco, Carissa Hamilton, Jeanette Hyatt, and Jacquelynne Dauk conducted the first ever meta-analysis on the relation between music and substance use among consumers. While previous research has documented a relation between music and substance use among consumers, to date, there are no meta-analytic reviews of the literature, making this meta-analysis the first in this area. Our meta-analysis focused on music that previous research has documented containing increased levels of substance use references. We also examined the different types of substances that have been examined in previous research. We also examined different music formats and potential moderators related to participant demographics and research study design. The overall effect size of music on substance use was .19. We found variations based on substance type, music format, and music genre. We also found that study location and participant biological sex moderated the effect of music on substance use.

For further information please see the following article:

Wright, C. L., Ball, T., Kambour, K., Machado, L., DeFrancesco, T., Hamilton, C., Hyatt, J., & Dauk, J. (2018). Music and substance use: A meta-analytic reviewJournal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse.

Sexual Content in Music and its Relation to Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors among Consumers: A Meta-Analytic Review

Dr. Wright and student Brittany Centeno conducted the first ever meta-analysis on the relation between sexual content in music and the sexual attitudes and behaviors of consumers. While music content has been included in previous meta-analytic reviews examining sexual content in media and sexual health outcomes, our meta-analysis is the first to focus specifically on music content. Considering that previous research has not standardized the sexual outcomes examined in our meta-analysis, outcomes were grouped in two categories: sexual attitudes and sexual behaviors. This study also focused specifically on sexual content in audio music and music videos and examined potential moderators. Results from 26 studies indicated that sexual content in music had a significant effect on sexual attitudes and behaviors, with both music format and genre being significant contributors. While the overall effect of sexual content in music on sexual behaviors can be considered small (.16), the effect of sexual content in music on sexual attitudes approached a moderate effect size (.25). Additionally, participant race/ethnicity, biological sex, age, study location, and study design were found to be significant moderators.

For further information please see the following article:

Wright, C. L., & Centeno, B. (2018). Sexual Content in Music and its relation to Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors among Consumers: A Meta-Analytic Review. Communication Quarterly.

“Get Lucky!” Sexual Content in Music Lyrics, Videos and Social Media and Sexual Cognitions and Risk among Emerging Adults in the USA and Australia

Dr. Wright and Dr. Rubin from the University of Newcastle collaborated to examine the relationship between sexual content in music and sexual cognitions and risk among emerging adults from both the USA and Australia. They examined music content in lyrics, videos, as well as social media posts of music artists on Facebook and Twitter using content analysis of the top artists rated by participants in the USA and Australia. It was hypothesized that there would be a positive association between sexual content in music (lyrics, videos, social media) and sexual cognitions and risk. Findings indicated variations in sexual content based on music genre and location and that music lyrics, videos, and social media posts of music artists all content forms of sexual content. Results from hierarchical regression analyses indicated that sexual lyrical content, sexual content in music videos, and sexual references in the social media posts of artists were related to negative sexual cognitions and the degree of sexual risk for both samples. While findings point to the direction of a universal impact of the association between sexual content in music and sexual cognitions and degree of sexual risk, they also highlight trends in these relationships across countries.

For further information please see the following article:

Wright, C. L., & Rubin, M. (2017). “Get lucky!” Sexual content in music lyrics, videos and social media and sexual cognitions and risk among emerging adults in the USA and Australia. Sex Education, 17, 41-56.

Music as a Mediator between Ethnicity and Substance Use among College Students 

Dr. Wright and student Deedra DeKemper examined the relationship between substance use references contained in music lyrics and videos and the attitudes and behaviors regarding substance use of White non-Hispanic, African American, and Hispanic emerging adults by assessing 425 male and female college students. It was hypothesized that there would be ethnic variations in perceived harm from substance use and reported recent substance use and that exposure to substance use references contained in music could mediate this relationship. Results confirmed ethnic differences in perceived risk associated with substance use as well as reported substance use. White non-Hispanic college students reported the least perceived risk and the most substance use while African American college students reported the most perceived risk associated with substance use and the least amount of reported substance use. Results of the Test of Joint Significance confirmed the mediational model in that participant ethnicity was associated with exposure to substance use references in music lyrics and music videos. Substance use references in music lyrics, then, was able to predict actual reported substance use of participants but not perceived risk associated with substance use.

Deedra’s original Honors in the Major Thesis was the recipient of the HIM Scholarship. Deedra also presented the findings of her thesis for presentation at the APS. Deedra graduated from UCF in the spring of 2014.

For further information please see the following article:

Wright, C. L., & DeKemper, D. (2016). Music as a mediator between ethnicity and substance use in college students. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse.

Music’s Influence on Risky Sexual Behaviors: Examining the Cultivation Theory

Dr. Wright and student Michelle Craske examined the relationship between sexual content in music lyrics and music videos and the sexual behaviors of Caucasian, African American, and Hispanic emerging adults from a cultivation framework by assessing 715 male and female college students. It was hypothesized that there would be a negative association between sexual content in music and sexual behaviors and that the cultivation framework could be used to partially explain these findings. Findings indicated variations in sexual behaviors based on participant race/ethnicity. Results from hierarchical regression analyses indicated that sexual lyrical content and sexual content in music videos, along with participant gender and race/ethnicity, are correlated with the dating and sexual behaviors of participants. A series of repeated measures analysis of variances were conducted to assess the extent to which the cultivation framework can explain the risky sexual behaviors of participants.

Michelle’s original Honors in the Major Thesis was the recipient of the HIM Scholarship and won 2nd place in the social sciences division of the SURE conference. Michelle also presented the findings of her thesis for presentation at the APS. Michelle graduated from UCF in the spring of 2014 and is currently a graduate student in sociology.

For further information please see the following article:

Wright, C. L., & Craske, M. (2015). Music’s Influence on Risky Sexual Behaviors: Examining the Cultivation Theory. Media Psychology Review. Vol. 9 (1)

The Relationship between Sexual Content in Music and Dating and Sexual Behaviors of Emerging Adults

Dr. Wright and student Erum Qureshi examined the relationship between sexual content in music lyrics, music videos, and the public image of popular music artists and the sexual behaviors of emerging adults. It was hypothesized these three avenues of music exposure would contain messages regarding risky sexual behaviors and that those who were exposed to these three avenues of music would report engaging in sexual activity at an earlier age and have an increased number of dating and sexual partners compared to those who were not as involved with popular music. Participants included 729 male and female college students who listened to rap, R&B, pop, rock, and country music genres. Findings indicated variations in sexual content based on music genre and that the three avenues of music exposure all contain sexual content. Results also indicated that sexual lyrical content, sexual content in music videos, and sexual references of popular music artists are associated with risky sexual behaviors.

Erum’s original Honors in the Major Thesis was the recipient of the Burnett Research Scholars Grant. Erum also presented the findings of her thesis for presentation at the APS. Erum graduated from UCF in the spring of 2013 and is currently a graduate student in the Counseling program at UCF.

For further information please see the following article:

Wright, C. L., & Qureshi, E. (2015). The relationship between sexual content in music and dating and sexual behaviors of emerging adults. The Howard Journal of Communications, 26, 227-253.

Music’s Dual Influence on Dyadic Behaviors

Dr. Wright and student Jessica Brandt conducted a follow-up analysis on Jessica’s HIM thesis, which focused on music influences on the sexualization of women. Follow-up analyses tested a mechanism through which music serves as a model of intimate relationship behaviors for those from non-continuously intact homes, which was a suggestion for future research in the original thesis. It was theorized that music would both mediate and moderate the relationship between family structure and risky sexual behaviors. The subset of participants analyzed included 357 emerging adults who came from intact (married) and non-continuously intact (divorced, reconstituted, never married) households. Results of hierarchical regression analyses confirmed that sexual lyrical content serves as a moderator between family structure and sexual behaviors of those from non-continuously intact homes. A Test of Joint Significance established the mediational influence of music in that sexual lyrical content in music influenced the sexual attitudes of participants, which, in turn, influenced their sexual behaviors.

Jessica’s original Honors in the Major Thesis was the recipient of the Burnett Research Scholars Grant in addition to the highly competitive HIM Scholarship. Jessica has submitted the findings of her thesis for presentation at the APA and results from the follow-up analyses have been submitted for presentation at the APS. Jessica graduated from UCF in the fall of 2013.

For further information please see the following article:

Wright, C. L., & Brandt, J. (2015). Music’s Dual Influence on Dyadic Behaviors. Marriage & Family Review, 51,  544-563.

Sexual Behaviors of Hispanic Emerging Adults: Examining the Immigrant Paradox

This study examined the immigrant paradox regarding risky sexual behaviors of Hispanic emerging adults from a social learning perspective. It was theorized that the immigrant paradox could partially be explained by the influence of music lyrical content. Participants included Hispanic emerging adults from South America, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central America, and Mexico. Results indicated that Hip Hop music contained more references to sexual content than R&B and Pop music genres. Male participants engaged in unsupervised dating activities earlier than female participants. However, females reported more dating partners than males. Results from hierarchical regression analyses confirmed that lyrical content in music could partially explain the sexual behaviors of Hispanic emerging adults.

For further information please see the following article:

Wright, C. L. (2014). Sexual behaviors of Hispanic emerging adults: Examining the immigrant paradox. Marriage & Family Review, 50,246-268.

Family Structure and Music as a Model of Dyadic Behavior

This is Dr. Wright’s first published article based on research conducted as part of the MM Lab. This study theorized that adult children from non-continuously intact family structures (e.g., divorced, never married, re-married) seek models of dyadic behaviors outside of their home because their family structure lacks the necessary context from which to learn how to behave in a romantic relationship. This research tested the prediction in two separate studies. In both studies, participants from non-continuously intact homes reported risky sexual behaviors and sexual lyrical content in popular music was able to partially explain the sexual behaviors of participants from divorced, reconstituted families, and never married homes. Based on social learning theory, this study concluded that those from non-continuously intact homes seek models of how to behave in romantic relationships from popular music, rather than their family structure.

For further information please see the following article:

Wright, C. L. (2013). Family Structure and Music as a Model of Dyadic Behavior. Marriage & Family Review, 49, 309-329.

Presentations on Popular Music

Wright, C. L., Toro Arenas, M., Martinez, P., McMullen, K., & Philips, R. (2018). Examining the effect of music censorship on sexual priming and sexual cognitions. American Psychological Association.

Wright, C. L., & Scholl, B. (2018). Music sexual content and consumer sexual attitudes and behaviors: A meta-analysis. American Psychological Association.

Wright, C. L., & Rubin, M. (2017). Sexual content in music, sexual cognitions, and risk among emerging adults in the USA and Australia. American Psychological Association.

Gilbert, M., & Wright, C. L. (2017). Sexual content in music videos and self-objectification. Southeastern Psychological Association.

Stringer, O., & Wright, C. L. (2017). Politcal orientations and music preferences among college aged adults. Southeastern Psychological Association.

Wright, C. L., Rubin, M., & McDonnell. J. (2017). Sexual imagery and thinking about sex. Southeastern Psychological Association.

Wright, C. L., & Rubin, M. (2017). Music selectivity and sexual risk. Southeastern Psychological Association.

Wright, C. L., McDonnell, J., & Nowotny, N. (2016). Sexual media and thinking about sex. Association for Psychological Science.

Deedra, D. & Wright, C. L. (May, 2014). Music Preference as a Mediator between Ethnicity and Perceptions of Acceptability and Harm with Substance Use. Association for Psychological Science.

Craske, M., & Wright, C. L. (May, 2014). Music Normalization Influences on College Students Risky Sexual Behaviors. Association for Psychological Science.

Wright, C. L., & Brandt, J. (May, 2014). Music’s Dual Influence on Dyadic Behaviors. Association for Psychological Science.

Patrick, M., & Wright, C. L. (August, 2014). The Impact of Media on Attitudes toward Women and Sexual Attitudes in Emerging Adults. American Psychological Association.

Brandt, J. & Wright, C. L. (August, 2014). Sexually suggestive songs and singers: Music media and its effects on the sexualization of women. American Psychological Association.

Wright, C. L., Deeter, C., & Dierking, S. (May, 2013). Music as a Model of Dyadic Behaviors for those from Non-continuously Intact Homes. Association for Psychological Science.

Bartel, J., & Wright, C. L. (May, 2013). The Effects of Music on Anxiety and Depression in Emerging Adults. Association for Psychological Science.

Qureshi, E., & Wright, C. L. (May, 2013). The Association between Music and Health Compromising Behaviors. Association for Psychological Science.

Qureshi, E.; Wright, C. L.; Cassidy, C., & Garth, K. (2012). The Sound of Drugs: An Examination of Music Preferences and Illegal Drug Use. Association for Psychological Science.

Wright, C. L.; Qureshi, E.; Garth, K.; & Cassidy, C. (2012). The Tune of Promiscuity: The Relationship between Music Lyrics and Sexual Behavior. Association for Psychological Science.

Cassidy, C.; Wright, C. L.; Garth, K.; & Qureshi, E. (2012). The Influence of Music on Short-term Memory. Association for Psychological Science.

RA Presentations on Popular Music

Langer, J. (mentor Dr. Chrysalis Wright) (April, 2019). Does perceived risk of substance use differ among college students after exposure of mainstream or non-mainstream music video genres? Showcase for Undergraduate Research Excellence. 

Stringer, O. (mentor Dr. Chrysalis Wright). (February, 2017). The Sound of Politics: Political Orientations and Music Preferences Among College Aged Adults. Florida Undergraduate Research Conference (also presented at the Showcase for Undergraduate Research Excellence)

McDonnell, J. (mentor Dr. Chrysalis Wright). (April, 2016). The relationship between the visual content in music videos and sexual cognition. Showcase for Undergraduate Research Excellence (also presented at the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference and the Western Region Undergraduate Showcase)

Osborne, C., Cruz, J., Gomez, A., & Adkins, H. (mentor Dr. Chrysalis Wright). (November, 2014). Music and Sexism. Western Region Undergraduate Showcase

Craske, M. (mentor Dr. Chrysalis Wright). (April, 2014). Music’s normalization influence on risky sexual behaviors. Showcase for Undergraduate Research Excellence (also presented at the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference and the Western Region Undergraduate Showcase)

DeKemper, D. (mentor Dr. Chrysalis Wright). (November, 2013). Music Preference as a Mediator Between Ethnicity and Perceptions of Acceptability and Harm with Substance Use. Western Region Undergraduate Showcase.

Brandt, J. (mentor Dr. Chrysalis Wright). (November, 2013). Sexually Suggestive Songs and Singers: Music Media and Its Effects on the Sexualization of Women. Western Region Undergraduate Showcase.

Bartel, J. (mentor Dr. Chrysalis Wright). (April, 2013). The Effects of Music on Anxiety and Depression in Emerging Adults. Showcase for Undergraduate Research Excellence (also presented at the Western Region Undergraduate Showcase).

Qureshi. E. (mentor Dr. Chrysalis Wright). (April, 2013). Music Influences on Health Compromising Behaviors. Showcase for Undergraduate Research Excellence.

DeVore, N., Prior, C., & Bueno, A. (mentor Dr. Chrysalis Wright). (April, 2013). Academic Achievement: How Personality and Music Preference Affect GPA. Showcase for Undergraduate Research Excellence.

Brandt, J. (mentor Dr. Chrysalis Wright). (November, 2012). Media and the Sexualization of Women. Western Region Undergraduate Showcase.

Qureshi, E. (mentor Dr. Chrysalis L. Wright) (2012). A Study on Popular Music and its’ Influence on Illicit Drug Use. Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence.