Study: Music Industry Addicted to Sex

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

A new study has found that a whopping 92 percent of all of the top songs of 2009 contained sexually suggestive themes.

According to The Atlantic Wire, the music your kids are listening to may not be what you had in mind for good, clean entertainment. A new study by professor Dawn R. Hobbs of the State University of New York at Albany and published in Evolutionary Psychology found an overwhelming amount of sexual themes in today’s music.

“Approximately 92% of the 174 songs that made it into the [Billboard] Top 10 in 2009 contained reproductive messages,” Hobbs says.

Her study analyzed the messages being broadcast in the top 174 songs and found 18 different sex-related categories present in the lyrics, such as songs referring to sex acts, arousal, genitalia, sexual prowess, etc. She found an average of 10.49 sex-related phrases per song, with music in the R&B genre being the biggest offender. Sexual appeal was most prominent in pop songs and country music was more likely to contain lyrics pertaining to fidelity and commitment.

Apparently, sex sells just as much music as it does everything else these days. “Further analyses showed that the bestselling songs in all three charts featured significantly more reproductive messages than those that failed to make it into the Top Ten,” the report says.

But this trend may not be indicative of new cultural lows. Hobbs claims that the trend to include sexual messages in music has a long history. “While the frequency of some of the themes differ, these findings clearly show that the same reproductive categories derived from the content analysis of our initial sample of 2009 contemporary songs map surprisingly well onto the lyrics from opera and arts songs dating back hundreds of years.”

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