“Naughty by nature?”: Music Preferences in Relation to Sexual Gender Stereotypes and Sexual Objectification
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Previous research indicated that music has become a prominent medium that can influence adolescents' sexual attitudes and gender stereotypes. Building on social learning theory and cultivation theory, this study examined adolescents' music preferences in relation to sexual gender stereotypes and sexual objectification. Complementing previous studies, it examined not only sexual objectification of the female body but also of the male body, and whether this relationship differs between boys and girls, and between religious and non-religious adolescents. Correlation and regression analyses of data from a 2010 sample of 480 Dutch high school students, aged 13 to 16, showed that music preferences were associated with sexual gender stereotyping and sexual objectification. Urban music was consistently related to higher levels of sexual gender stereotyping and sexual objectification. There were no significant differences between boys and girls. Among non-religious adolescents compared to religious adolescents, a preference for electronic music was associated with higher sexual gender stereotyping and sexual objectification of boys. Further research should focus on exploring ways in which urban music can be used to keep adolescents from sexual gender stereotyping and sexual objectification, and instead educate them about gender roles and sex in a positive, healthy way.