Sex Roles

, Volume 54, Issue 9–10, pp 675–686 | Cite as

Selling Sex to Radio Program Directors: A Content Analysis of Radio & Records Magazine

  • Emily E. Tanner-Smith
  • Damian T. Williams
  • Denise Nichols
Original Article


This study was designed to examine whether radio format and musical artists' gender predict sexual content in trade advertisements geared toward radio program directors. Advertisements were coded from one of the leading music trade magazines, Radio & Records magazine, between 2002 and 2003. Results indicated that overall women artists used sexual content in trade advertisements more often and to a greater degree than did men. In some cases, advertisements in radio formats with younger demographic markets, such as pop or hip-hop, also used higher levels of sexual content. It is concluded that the organizational context of the commercial music industry helps to perpetuate status differences between women and men artists, which may then bring about a cognitive bias in the field that promotes women artists' over reliance on using sexual content in trade advertisements.


Advertising Commercial music industry Content analysis Gender stereotyping Gender structure 



We thank Deanne Casanova for her administrative support and Laura Carpenter, Steve Lee, and Jennifer Lena for providing comments on an earlier draft.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily E. Tanner-Smith
    • 1
  • Damian T. Williams
    • 1
  • Denise Nichols
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SociologyVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Nashville School of LawNashvilleUSA

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