Sex Roles

, Volume 55, Issue 11–12, pp 725–737 | Cite as

Evaluating Agency and Responsibility in Gendered Violence: African American Youth Talk About Violence and Hip Hop

  • Catherine R. Squires
  • Laura P. Kohn-Wood
  • Tabbye Chavous
  • Prudence L. Carter
Original Article


The results of this study provide insights into the ways that African American adolescents think about gendered interpersonal violence. African American high school students were invited to discuss images and incidents from contemporary urban music culture (events based on incidents with famous hip hop figures and lyrics from rap music) in a focus group format. We explored how African American youth perceived and responded to examples of gendered violence portrayed in vignettes and musical lyrics. The main analyses focus on the question of how youths’ perceptions of hip hop images, hypothetical stories, and lyrics were linked to their views of “normative” gender interactions and interpersonal relationships for their racial group.


African Americans Adolescents Gender Violence Rap 



The authors would like to thank the editor and the two anonymous reviewers for their insightful suggestions for revision. We would also like to thank Kira Hudson Banks, William Corrin, Omar Headen, Lumas Helaire, Alicia Ross, Michael Selders, Mary Trujillo, and Jennifer McCall for their invaluable assistance with the focus groups. This study was funded by a grant from the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine R. Squires
    • 1
  • Laura P. Kohn-Wood
    • 2
  • Tabbye Chavous
    • 3
  • Prudence L. Carter
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Afroamerican and African StudiesUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.School of EducationUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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