The current study examined the relationship between sexual content in music lyrics, music videos, and the public image of popular music artists and the sexual behaviors of emerging adults. It was hypothesized that there would be a negative association between sexual content in music and sexual behaviors. Participants included 729 male and female college students from Caucasian, African American, Asian, and Hispanic backgrounds who listened to rap, R&B, pop, rock, and country music genres. Findings indicated variations in sexual content based on music genre and that music lyrics, music videos, and the public image of artists all contain sexual content. Results also indicated variations in music genre preference based on participant gender and race/ethnicity. Results from hierarchical regression analyses indicated that sexual lyrical content, sexual content in music videos, and sexual references of popular music artists are correlated with the dating and sexual behaviors of participants. Theoretical and cultural implications are discussed. © 2015, Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
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