Researchers at the University of Missouri set out to compare lyrics of popular music genres, scanning their lyrics for instances of violence and misogyny. They found that, despite the public opinion of rap and hip-hop music, pop music was, more or less, just as violent and misogynistic.
“We know that music has a strong impact on young people and how they view their role in society,” said Cynthia Frisby, professor in the Missouri School of Journalism. “Unlike rap or hip-hop, pop music tends to have a bubbly, uplifting sound that is meant to draw listeners in. But that can be problematic if the lyrics beneath the sound are promoting violence and misogynistic behavior.”
The team analyzed lyrics from more than 400 of Billboard’s top rap, hip hop, rock, pop, country, heavy metal and R & B songs for themes of violence, profanity, and misogyny. They found that while rap and hip-hop continues to be the leader in promoting profanity, violence and misogyny, pop music promotes violence at a similar level. Country music however, had the least amount of violent and misogynistic content.