Title page for ETD etd-0409103-090119

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Martin, Harry Emons
Author's Email Address skipm1@hotmail.com
URN etd-0409103-090119
Title The Correlation between College Studentsí Familiarity with Potentially Offensive Popular Music and Self-Reported Tolerance of Obscene Language and Sexual Behavior
Degree Master of Music (M.M.)
Department Music
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Jane Cassidy Committee Chair
Evelyn Orman Committee Member
James Byo Committee Member
  • obscene language
  • adolescent
  • popular music
Date of Defense 2003-02-14
Availability unrestricted
This study's purpose was to examine the correlations among popular music preference, sexual behavior tolerance, and potentially obscene language usage. Subjects (N = 81) were college freshmen over the age of 18 who graduated from high school in 2001. They were drawn from one section each of a Music Appreciation course (non-music majors) and an Introduction to Music Study course (music majors). The top 20 songs from the October 27, 2001 Billboard Magazine's Top 100 charts were analyzed for occurrences of potentially offensive words and whole lines of lyrics containing sexual references. Subjects responded to a 4-part questionnaire. In part one, the subjects indicated the frequency with which they used 8 potentially offensive words drawn from the analyzed songs. Part two contained 12 questions for which subjects indicated their tolerance of specific sexual situations. In part three, subjects indicated their familiarity with the 20 analyzed song titles by marking a 6-point Likert scale. Part four asked the subject demographic information. Results indicated that non-music majors were more familiar with the selected songs than music majors and that majorities of both groups fell into the "high" usage category concerning word usage scores. Both groups also seemed highly tolerant of sexual behavior. Raw data analysis revealed no significant correlation between word usage and song familiarity for both groups and no significant correlation for music majors' familiarity scores and their situational scores. A significant positive correlation was found between song familiarity and situational scores for non-music majors and between word usage and situational scores for both groups.
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