Date of Award

6-9-2006

Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Yuki Fujioka - Chair

Second Advisor

Cynthia Hoffner

Third Advisor

Merrill Morris

Abstract

The emergence in recent years of strong female musical artists asserting their sexuality as empowerment (Andsager & Roe, 2003; Gauntlett, 2002) has necessitated an evaluation of their depictions in music videos as perceived by contemporary target audiences. This study attempts to determine how viewers’ gender role identity, based upon gender schema theory (Bem, 1981; 1993) and measured through Bem Sex-Role Inventory (BSRI), relate to perceptions of female pop and hip hop artists’ music videos. It was hypothesized that sex-typed respondents would perceive portrayals as traditional more than other groups, whereas cross-sex typed respondents would perceive empowerment more than others groups. A convenience sample of 177 female undergraduate students was used for this cross-sectional study. Results did not support the hypotheses. Though some of the traditional items were found significant, no other significant differences emerged. Overall, gender role identity was ultimately found to have little relationship to perceptions of music video portrayals.

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