Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Neuendorf, Kimberly

Subject Headings

Music and teenagers -- United States, Popular music -- United States, Erotic songs -- United States, Mass media and teenagers, content analysis, popular music, lyrics, teens, adolescents, sex, attitudes, behaviors, media effects


This study examines the possible links between music lyrics and adolescent sexual health and behavior. This relationship is first explored through a content analysis of sexual content of popular music lyrics. The findings generally support those of previous content analyses that find sexual content to be increasing, to be used regardless of gender of singer, and to be higher among some genres than others. The study also offers unexpected evidence of a link between lyrical content and cultural happenings that was not formally sought as part of the original study. The study secondly seeks to discover any correlations between sexual content of lyrics and national social indicators of adolescent sexual behavior. Few findings of significance emerged, and future research may wish to examine why expected negative media effects do not reveal themselves at the national level

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Communication Commons