Male rappers see the "independent woman" as an educated, bill-paying person who will care for an average guy without making demands, while female rappers stress their sexual prowess and keep mum about their domestic skills, according to a Baylor University researcher's study.
But despite their very different takes on independent women, both men and women artists displayed a definite lack of the R-E-S-P-E-C-T that Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin craved in her 1967 mega-hit song.
"Both groups use misogynistic language to describe women," said Dr. Mia Moody, assistant professor of journalism and media arts at Baylor, in a study published in the spring issue of American Communication Journal.
The trend clearly shows that parents must take back roles as image-makers and discuss lyrics with children, that literacy programs should stress the true meaning of independence and that rappers must take responsibility for their negative or mixed messages, Moody concluded in her study.
She analyzed six songs and corresponding YouTube videos by male and female rappers, as well as comments posted to videos. Rappers were Yo Gotti, Webbie, Drake, Candi Redd, Trina and Nicki Minaj.
"It's also worth noting that male rappers set the bar higher for women than for men," Moody said.
In her study, she found four main messages:
Females discuss sex as a tool for obtaining independence, buying material goods and controlling men. Male rappers include messages in which women pay bills, get an education and cultivate a good home life. But men do not mention settling down with the independent women they desire. Instead, the male rappers point out that the women do not weigh them down, question their actions or beg for money, Moody said.
Among her examples are Yo Gotti's "Five Star Chick." He describes his ideal mate as a church-going college grad with a perfect credit score who gives good back rubs. Those lyrics are better than ones glorifying drugs and violence, Moody said, but he never mentions how he can reciprocate.
Both male and female rappers are obsessed with materialism, Moody said. Female rappers send mixed messages, boasting of buying things for themselves, yet emphasizing the importance of men spending money on them. They are more sexually explicit than men, often bragging about their skills in bed.
Moody suggested that many male rappers deal with money-seeking groupies, so they create the image of the self-sufficient woman. But they see women as gold diggers or independent, with no happy medium.
Few who commented on music discussed double standards or conflicting messages about independence.
Moody said parents and literacy programs should teach that beauty, materialism and unrealistic domestic standards are not necessarily part of independence; that independence standards may vary based on personal circumstances; and that independence may become secondary for those wanting relationships and families. She said rappers must infuse positive messages into their lyrics to downplay materialism, sexism and bias by lighter-skinned people against darker-skinned ones within the same ethnic group.
Baylor University: http://www.baylor.edu
This press release was posted to serve as a topic for discussion. Please comment below. We try our best to only post press releases that are associated with peer reviewed scientific literature. Critical discussions of the research are appreciated. If you need help finding a link to the original article, please contact us on twitter or via e-mail.
The complicated science behind picky eating is giving experts plenty of food for thought
The compound kills disease-causing parasites by popping them like water balloons
The U.S. had planned to build 17 treatment units across Liberia, one in each county's major town. Now that more cases are appearing in remote areas, the Army may need to rethink its strategy.
A woman is thought to be spreading Ebola in a remote village. So health workers spend four hours trekking through the bush to track her down. By the time they make it, it's too late.
Doctors have used perfect replicas of childrens' hearts to uncover and repair hidden defects
An experiment testing people’s altruism in the face of electric shocks is clear on one thing: we are drawn to these little blasts
Researchers gear up tests in West Africa to see whether blood from Ebola survivors can help people who are sick with the disease. This is part of a broader effort to test therapies in West Africa.
The virus's foray into Europe coincides with peak production of Christmas turkeys, the poultry species most vulnerable to bird flu
A novel kind of nanoparticle could lead to more effective cancer treatments.Patients and doctors often don’t know if surgery to remove cancerous tissue was successful until scans are performed months later. A new kind of nanoparticle could show patients if they’re in the clear much earlier.
One challenge in evaluating the effectiveness of different medical procedures, is that patients behave differently after different procedures. Is this true for patients getting heart surgery?