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What's happening on Music Television? A gender role content analysis


This study analyzed 40 Music Television (MTV) music videos across gender role based content categories. Videos were rated at 30-second intervals by four trained raters using a consensus model. Results included the following: (a) men appeared nearly twice as often as women; (b) men engaged in significantly more aggressive and dominant behavior; (c) women engaged in significantly more implicitly sexual and subservient behavior; and (d) women were more frequently the object of explicit, implicit, and aggressive sexual advances. Overall, MTV video content primarily included implicit sexuality, objectification, dominance, and implicit aggression. Implications of these findings with respect to sex role stereotyping and the development of negative attitudes toward women were discussed.

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Author information

Correspondence to Rita Sommers-Flanagan.

Additional information

The authors wish to thank Max Sommers for his assistance in recording a random selection of music videos for subsequent analysis. The authors also thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article.

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Sommers-Flanagan, R., Sommers-Flanagan, J. & Davis, B. What's happening on Music Television? A gender role content analysis. Sex Roles 28, 745–753 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00289991

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  • Social Psychology
  • Content Analysis
  • Gender Role
  • Negative Attitude
  • Video Content