Sexually Degrading Music Videos and Lyrics: Their Effects on Males' Aggression and Endorsement of Rape Myths and Secual Stereotypes

Eric L. Sprankle, Minnesota State University - Mankato
Christian M. End, Xavier University - Cincinnati
Miranda N. Bretz, Minnesota State University - Mankato


Utilizing a 2 (lyrics: present or absent) × 2 (images: present or absent) design, this study examined the unique effects of sexually degrading music videos and music lyrics on males’ aggressive behavior toward women, as well as males’ endorsement of rape myths and sexual stereotypes. Under the guise of a media memory study, 187 male undergraduate students were randomly assigned to one of four conditions. Despite the many psychological theories predicting an effect, the presentation of sexually degrading content in a visual or auditory medium (or combination thereof) did not significantly alter the participants’ aggression and self-reported endorsement of rape myths and sexual stereotypes. The null findings challenge the many corporate and governmental restrictions placed on sexual content in the media over concern for harmful effects.