Rap music activates pre-existing sexism

Feb. 20, 2008 at 10:19 PM
share with facebook
share with twitter

RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Hearing rap music can spontaneously activate pre-existing awareness of sexist beliefs, North Carolina State University researchers determined.

Many critics of rap music say it causes sexist beliefs, but study authors Michael Cobb and Bill Boettcher, both of the state university in Raleigh, N.C., suggest the connection between rap and sexism is unlikely to be a direct cause-and-effect.

The study, published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, found that college students who were asked to listen to rap music had significantly higher levels of reported sexism.

In the study, college students were randomly assigned to one of three groups. In the control group, students' levels of sexism were measured, but they did not listen to any music. A second group required students to listen to non-sexist rap music, while a third listened to a rap song with explicitly sexist language.

Males were more sexist in all three groups. However, Cobb and Boettcher found that sexist attitudes among respondents also increased after exposure to rap containing no sexist lyrics.

"Rap music may be associated with sexist attitudes and beliefs, regardless of the actual lyrical content," Cobb says in a statement. "So non-sexist rap can now have sexist implication."

Trending Stories