The Effects of Censored and Uncensored Sexually Explicit Music on Sexual Attitudes and Perceptions of Sexual Activity

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The effects of censored versus uncensored sexually explicit music on undergraduate students’ attitudes toward premarital sex, perception of peer sexual activity, and attitudes toward women were examined. Under the guise of a lyrical memory task, the experiment involved groups of participants who were randomly assigned to listen to an uncensored sexually explicit song, a censored version of the same song, a nonsexual song by the same artist, or no music. The lyrical content did not have a significant impact on the participants’ self-reported sexual attitudes and perceptions of peer sexual activity. Additionally, the music (or lack of) did not significantly alter attitudes toward premarital sex, perceptions of peer sexual activity, or attitudes toward women. The nonsignificant difference between the sexually explicit songs and the nonsexual songs challenges the psychological and lay theories that exposure to sexually explicit music instigates attitudinal change.

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Journal of Media Psychology