Sex Roles

, Volume 64, Issue 3–4, pp 173–191 | Cite as

Sex and the Spectacle of Music Videos: An Examination of the Portrayal of Race and Sexuality in Music Videos

  • Jacob S. TurnerEmail author
Original Article


This content analysis used two studies to examine sexual behaviors and sex role portrayals in music videos televised in the United States. The first study included 120 videos recorded from MTV, MTV2, VH-1, BET, and CMT and revealed African American videos were significantly more likely to portray sexual content and female characters in provocative clothing than White videos. The second study analyzed 20 videos from BET’s late-night program, Un:Cut. Results revealed Un:Cut videos depicted seven times as many sexual acts and featured significantly more discouraged sexual behaviors than videos from the five major music video channels. Findings from these studies clarify that race is an important factor when gender roles and sexual content are examined in music videos.


Music videos Race Sexual content Provocative clothing Social cognitive theory 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Communication Arts and Sciences, Cushing HallMerrimack CollegeNorth AndoverUSA

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