Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Joetta Carr

Second Advisor

Codie Stone


Music is a part of daily life for most people, leading the messages within music to permeate people’s consciousness. This is concerning when the messages in music follow discriminatory themes such as sexism or racism. Sexism in music is becoming well documented, but some genres are scrutinized more heavily than others. Rap and hip-hop get much more attention in popular media for being sexist than do genres such as country and rock. My goal was to show whether or not genres such as country and rock are as sexist as rap and hip-hop. In this project, I analyze the top ten songs of 2013 from six genres looking for five themes of sexism. The six genres used are rap, hip-hop, country, rock, alternative, and dance. The five themes used are portrayal of women in traditional gender roles, portrayal of women as inferior to men, portrayal of women as objects, portrayal of women as stereotypes, and portrayal of violence against women. Each instance of sexism is also classified as benevolent, ambivalent, or hostile sexism. I then use the results to determine whether or not other genres are as sexist as hip-hop and rap. Possible reasons for differing levels of sexism as well as potential social implications of sexism in music are discussed.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access