Race and Genre in the Use of Sexual Objectification in Female Artists' Music Videos

Cynthia M. Frisby, Jennifer Stevens Aubrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The present study examines the use of sexual objectification by popular female music artists in their music videos. To obtain a current assessment of sexual objectification within pop, country, and hip hop music videos, a content analysis was performed. Our primary purposes were to examine (a) differences by race (in particular, differences between White and Black artists) and (b) by genre (i.e., pop, hip hop/R&B, and country). Results revealed only 1 race difference. In that case, Black artists were nearly twice as likely to wear sexually provocative attire. The results yielded consistent genre differences in which country artists were less likely to engage in sexual objectification, probably because of the socially conservative nature of the genre. However, in the main, there were few differences in sexual objectification between pop and R&B/hip artists. Findings are discussed in relation to objectification theory (B. L. Fredrickson & T. A. Roberts, 1998) and the framework of post-feminism (e.g., Gill, 2007; McRobbie, 2004).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-87
Number of pages22
JournalHoward Journal of Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • gaze
  • gender
  • popular music
  • provocative dress
  • race and ethnic differences in music videos
  • sexual objectification
  • sexualization
  • sexualized dance
  • skin exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management


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