Sexual objectification of female artists in music videos exists regardless of race, study finds

Apr 04, 2012

Popular music videos have been criticized as having misogynistic messages and images. While more female music artists have gained visibility and created successful "brands" in recent years, critics argue that many of these artists are pushing the boundaries of acceptable norms with regard to race, gender and sexuality in popular culture. Cynthia Frisby, an associate professor of strategic communication in the University of Missouri School of Journalism, and Jennifer Aubrey, an associate professor in the department of communication in the University of Missouri College of Arts and Science, found an abundance of sexual objectification in music videos featuring female artists. They believe these cases of sexual objectification are concerning because of potential messages it sends to young viewers.

"The images coming from these music videos are very powerful and influential," Frisby said. "Young audiences may interpret these sexually objectifying images as important ways to be seen as attractive and valuable to society, especially with how pervasive these videos are throughout our culture."

In their study, Frisby and Aubrey found that sexual objectification of female artists in music videos existed equally, regardless of the artist's race. However, they did find that African-American artists tended to wear more sexually provocative attire than other female artists.

"It has been known that music videos featuring male artists often sexually objectify women, but our study shows that many female artists are objectifying themselves in their music videos," Frisby said. "However, despite numerous existing sexual stereotypes regarding black women, they don't appear to objectify themselves any more or less than women of other races."

For their study, Frisby and Aubrey reviewed all "Billboard Top 10" music videos from 2006-2010. They found that out of three main genres of music (country, pop, and hip hop/R&B), female artists in country music videos were the least likely to portray any type of sexuality. They also found that pop music videos were more likely to contain female artists engaging in sexualized dance than hip hop/R&B videos.

"Pop videos contained a different type of sexual objectification than hip hop/R&B ," Frisby said. "While pop videos were more likely to contain sexual objectification related to movement, such as dance and the gaze that is likely to result from dance performance, hip hop/R&B videos were more likely to contain sexual objectification related to styling and dress."

Explore further: Unintended consequences: More high school math, science linked to more dropouts

More information: This study was published in the Howard Journal of Communications.

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User comments : 35

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Royale
5 / 5 (1) Apr 04, 2012
I love that this was a study. Honestly, do the results surprise anyone? Did the question even need to be asked?
Tennex
2 / 5 (8) Apr 04, 2012
Why We Have So Much "Duh" Science. Symmetrically, the research of really fundamental, but controversial phenomena, like the "chi" energy and other psychic phenomena is avoided obstinately (the same tendency is observed in mainstream physics, which avoids cold fusion research, etc..). The reason is simple: the community of social scientists is overgrown, so it tends to superficial journalisms and it avoids every risk of carrier. The contemporary scientists are product of long-term evolution in this extent.
Tennex
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 04, 2012
The only way, which the layman society can fight with it is to ridicule these parasites whenever possible. We deserve a better research, because we're paying it from your taxes.
Sonhouse
5 / 5 (3) Apr 04, 2012
http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/06/01/1937220/why-we-have-so-much-duh-science. Symmetrically, the research of really fundamental, but controversial phenomena, like the "chi" energy and other psychic phenomena is avoided obstinately (the same tendency is observed in mainstream physics, which avoids cold fusion research, etc..). The reason is simple: the community of social scientists is overgrown, so it tends to superficial journalisms and it avoids every risk of carrier. The contemporary scientists are product of long-term evolution in this extent.

And this has something to do with sexual objectification how? You are so desperate for attention you post anywhere? What next? We find your posts in shoe salesman websites?
Royale
5 / 5 (3) Apr 04, 2012
Thanks Sonhouse,
Tennex is clearly a Callippo sockpuppet... always sticking cold fusion into every statement he makes; and the terrible grammar, that's what makes it easy to see...
Anyone with a sockpuppet account on this site for any reason should simply be banned. IP blacklisted, login frozen...
Vendicar_Decarian
4 / 5 (4) Apr 04, 2012
It is good for Capitalism.

http://www.youtub...direct=1
Tennex
1 / 5 (4) Apr 04, 2012
And this has something to do with sexual objectification how?
Did you ever understand the logics of the first post? If yes, why are you still asking this question after second one? Are you a social psychologist - or some even more primitive form of life?
You are so desperate for attention you post anywhere?
And why these scientists are publishing such silly research so desperately anywhere? Aren't they able to find a better topic? IMO it's solely symmetric situation and I'm not even taking money for it.

As everyone can realize, I'm not posting here to make visible myself, but the triviality of this research. Only demagogues and supporters of this triviality could assume the opposite seriously.
Tennex is clearly a Callippo sockpuppet
Callipo account is banned, so I created another one. The proponents of mainstream parasitic science don't like the critique and the accusation from puppetry is just an evasion. If I wouldn't banned, I would use my original account 4ever.
Deathclock
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 04, 2012
Sexual objectification of male artists in music videos exists regardless of race..

Everything is sex... this isn't new.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Apr 04, 2012
It is good for Capitalism.

http://www.youtub...direct=1
Well heres a good one
http://www.youtub...tc5Tr3a0

Naw sereuiosly this ones pretty good right callipoo?
http://www.youtub...xEjwXHcM

Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Apr 04, 2012
You can't beat Alizee.

Impossible.

http://www.youtub...=related
Tennex
3.3 / 5 (3) Apr 04, 2012
Naw sereuiosly this ones pretty good right callipoo?
In nomine patris et filii et satana.. .. it is.. so ..objectificated.. and definitely worth of DEEPERRRR research....

..just not for the mandatory fees of tax payers, who are spending their lives in tedious jobs. I mean, such a decadent pseudoresearch is unethical with respect to all hardly working people. I wouldn't even spread a news about it being a PO journalist, if nothing else, than because such research makes whole news server decadent too. We as a people should have some self-preservation instinct against inconspicuous stupidity, no matter how "scientifically" it appears..
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Apr 04, 2012
This ones pretty hot
http://www.youtub...bedded#!

I think she melts at the end
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Apr 04, 2012
Spectacular, but Alizee is still on top.

http://www.youtub...vQlqqzIQ
Lurker2358
5 / 5 (1) Apr 04, 2012
How is this research?

Most music is in some way a love song, or a break up song, or otherwise has at least some sort of sexual overtone anyway, so it's only natural that the music videos are sexualized.
Sean_W
4.2 / 5 (6) Apr 04, 2012
I secretly objectify women all the time. It will probably take more than castration but actually neurosurgery to get me to stop but our level of medical science has not progressed that far. I am pretty good at not letting my victims know that I have objectified them but since it seems to be a crime regardless, I guess capital punishment for people like me is the only option for those who want to end objectification. Let me know when you're ready for me to turn myself in. Until then, get off my back.
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (1) Apr 04, 2012
A very lovely collection.

http://www.youtub...fD3nvh-8
rwinners
5 / 5 (1) Apr 04, 2012
Well.... duh. And those objectified women generally benefit immensely from this fact.
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (1) Apr 04, 2012
epsi00
5 / 5 (2) Apr 05, 2012
music sells. sex sells. the combination of the two sells a lot more. it's about selling.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Apr 05, 2012
How is this research?

Most music is in some way a love song, or ...sexualized.
That's a silly thing to say. Sexualize THIS
http://www.youtub...a_player

Godder.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Apr 05, 2012
Perhaps this gives you a stiffy?
http://www.youtub...a_player
tadchem
5 / 5 (1) Apr 05, 2012
The objective of music videos is to get people to watch. If you have a female participant who is NOT sexually objectified, men won't watch. There goes 50% or so of the demographic.
QED
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Apr 05, 2012
Heeres one for the canadians
http://www.youtub...arhZpnMs
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Apr 05, 2012
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17V1FPCy77c&feature=relmfu
Good thats weird. Shes only lipsyncing you know- ripoff-
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Apr 05, 2012
I just realized god and good are almost the same word. Who is responsible for this??

Heres some oldies
http://www.youtub...0FW9Qt-4
http://www.youtub...GGMhmo-M
Tennex
not rated yet Apr 05, 2012
Well.... duh. And those objectified women generally benefit immensely from this fact.

Well, yes - but the rest of them is rather struggling. The entropy must be conserved...
Lurker2358
not rated yet Apr 07, 2012
Well, I don't like listening to some dude sing, at least not most of the time, there's some exceptions.

I always like to hear a woman sing though, well, if she's good that is.

http://www.youtub...v8Onsrgg
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2012
Well, I don't like listening to some dude sing, at least not most of the time, there's some exceptions.

I always like to hear a woman sing though, well, if she's good that is.

http://www.youtub...v8Onsrgg
Well this ones pretty good. i think she bit her tongue though. What a trooper.
http://www.youtub...pp_video
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Apr 07, 2012
Baby Spice is my favorite, followed by Scary Spice.
I went to see their movie. It was a cheekie hoot.

But you still can't be Alizee.

http://www.youtub...lypUPvGI
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Apr 07, 2012
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Apr 07, 2012
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Apr 07, 2012
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Apr 08, 2012
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Apr 08, 2012
critics argue that many of these artists are pushing the boundaries of acceptable norms with regard to race, gender and sexuality

Um..yeah. Isn't this what artists have always done? Being an artist is about exploring boundaries.

On the other hand: the 'performers' the media industry are selling to consumers hardly deserve the label 'artist'.
They are more like 'corporate approved consumer attention grabbers'.
ODesign
not rated yet Apr 09, 2012
I wonder if this correlates with objectification of men as success and status objects. Are there fewer videos featuring underachiever men than featuring unattractive women? I suspect the two gender normalized forms of objectification are closely linked and success in de-objectifying women might be very difficult without concurrently de-objectifying men.