A Linguistic Analysis of Sexual Content and Emotive Language in Contemporary Music Genres

  • Casey B. HartEmail author
  • George Day
Original Paper


The study examines sexual content and emotive language in contemporary popular music using word count and linguistic inquiry. The study examines the possible connections between sexual content and emotive language in five major genres of popular music by comparing frequency and looking for correlations between these variables. The study uses the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count 2015 program to conduct the basic analysis and then a series of ANOVAs to test for significance and relationships between variables. Results indicate that the genre of Rap/R&B contains significantly higher frequencies of sexual content than other genres and a strong correlation between sexual content and anger. This supports and expands on previous work in the field by examining emotional motivations connected to sexual narratives. Contrary to Rap/R&B, the genre of Rock shows moderate a correlation between sexual content and anxiety, indicating narrative differences in the contextualization of sexual content in the genre. The paper discusses the implications of these findings in the modern era of #MeToo and awareness of domestic violence.


Sex Music Language Lyrics Emotion Genre 



This study was not grant funded.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Authors Casey B. Hart and George Day declare that they have no conflict of interest with regard to the collection of data, writing, and potential publishing of this paper.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stephen F. Austin State UniversityNacogdochesUSA

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