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Posted on March 19th, 2013, by

There have been numerous studies on different social ills associated with hip hop. Gender issue is one of the most painful ones. Apart from the accusations of misogyny and sexism, hip hop music has been linked to the increase of sexual activity among young girls. For example, Wilma J. Henry and her colleagues Nicole M. West and Andrea Jackson studied the influence of hip hop on the identity development of black female college students. They observed that psychological distress is affecting Black women and this is due to the conflicting perspectives about what Black women is in contemporary society. Bakari Kitwana took a lecture tour intended to identify whether hip hop hated women, and found out that most of black women did not recognize the messages in hip hop videos and texts to be directed against them.

Still, in her research “The music industries impact on teen violence and drug abuse in America”¯ Theresa A. Martinez has concluded that hip hop music lyrics significantly increase men negative sexual belief because of misogynist and sexist lyrics. Meanwhile, Amy Binder analyzed the rhetoric in media accounts in the period 1985 ”“ 1990 in terms of dangers posed to children and society on the whole coming from heavy metal and rap music. The results have been posted in the article “Constructing Racial Rhetoric: Media Depictions of Harm in Heavy Metal and Rap Music.”¯ In particular, it has been stated that hip hop creates misogynist listeners who are obviously a danger to women. For example, in the “Tip Drill”¯ video by Nelly, there was an obscene depiction of female exploitation (like a man swiping a credit card between the buttocks of a stripper girl), and of course, such videos call many social activists to condemnation. Such pictures simply oppress women and their dignity, and cause negative reaction of the audience. The same negative effects have been revealed by Barongan and Nagayama Hall in studying the influence of misogynous rap music on sexual aggression against women. In their randomized control trial one experimental group of 27 young males listened to four rap songs addressing to sex and violence and another group of 27 people listened to four rap songs without a reference to sex and violence. After that they were all demonstrated several vignettes from the movie “I Spit On Your Grave”¯, including neutral, assaultive, and sexual-violent scenes. The task was to select a scene and to show it to a female peer. As a result 30 percent of the boys who listened to violent-associated songs demonstrated assaultive vignettes to the girls, while among neutral songs listeners these were only 7 percent. What is more, females reported to really get uncomfortable and upset after viewing sexual-violent vignettes. All these studies prove the songs saturated with violent and sex themes are harmful for women, no matter if they personally listen to them or not. But on the other hand, this harm virtually does not come from the style of music.

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