Friday, November 04, 2011

Pop and R&B preach Sex, Country is much better at True Relationships

Attention parents: it DOES matter what kind of music your child grows up on. If they listen to secular music, there is a pretty substantial difference between Country music, Pop, and R&B.

The four most frequent "reproductive" categories contained in the lyrics of hit Country songs in 2009 were commitment, parenting, rejection, and fidelity assurance, in that order.

For Pop songs the most frequent reproductive categories were sex appeal, reputation, short-term strategies, and fidelity assurance.

For R&B songs, sex appeal, resources (luxury items, cars, money), sex act, and status constituted the most frequent themes.
These are the findings of psychologists Dawn Hobbs and Gordon Gallup in their article Songs as a Medium for Embedded Reproductive Messages, a study published in Evolutionary Psychology, 2011. 9(3): 390-416.

They analyzed close to 60 hit songs from 2009 in Country, Pop, and R&B, and categorized all the "reproductive" messages contained in those songs. Please click on this graph to see the results more clearly(color codes added):

Whereas 46 out of the 58 parenting themes came from Country songs, only four appeared in R&B songs. In contrast, references to resources were featured 106 times in R&B songs, but appeared only six times in Country songs. Approximately 92% of the 174 songs that made it into the Top Ten in 2009 contained one or more reproductive messages, with an average of 10.49 reproductive phrases per song. The most popular/bestselling songs contained significantly more reproductive messages.

Marko comments: If you look at the graph carefully, Country scores the most messages in the positive green items (courtship, fidelity assurance, commitment, and especially parenting). The extremely negative red items (genitalia, arousal, sex act, sex appeal, infidelity) are the specialty of R&B and to a large extent Pop as well. These two also are big in red items (short term strategies meaning one night stands and sexual prowess, ), and materialistic areas in yellow (body parts, reputation, resources, and status).

Contemporary Christian music was not analyzed. This is much to the detriment of the readers of "Evolutionary" psychology. Also, these evolutionary psychologists did not comment on whether the cause of evolution is advanced by the increase in hedonism found in music. Perhaps this is devolution, not evolution!

(referenced on the Michael Medved Radio Program)

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