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Sexual references in songs now more common than ever

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New York, May 18: An analysis of popular song lyrics in the US from 1960 to 2008 found that nowadays references to sex in songs have risen dramatically.

In female performers, the proportion of songs referring to sex which was at six per cent in the 1960s increased to 16-21 percent from 1970-2000.

Among male performers, the proportion of songs with reference to sex jumped from seven percent in the 1960s to 20-29 percent through the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, then reached to 40 percent in the 2000s, according to the study.

“References to romantic relationships became less common over time, while references to sexual behaviour and objectified bodies became more common,” found the study, published online in the journal Sexuality & Culture.

The analysis relied on the Billboard year-end top 100 songs of the year for 1960 to 2008.

The top 50 songs from every even-numbered year were examined, providing a sample of 250 songs per decade and a total of 1,250 songs.

The study led by Jennifer Shewmaker from Abilene Christian University in the US and her colleagues also concluded that men sing about both romantic love and sex more often than women. However, female artists sing about romantic love in a higher percentage of their songs.

The difference is because of the gender disparity in the number of songs. Male singers performed a considerably higher percentage of popular songs than female performers during the study period.

A total of 895 unique primary artists performed these 1,250 songs. Over half of songs in the analysis were from the rock/pop genre, although its dominance decreased over time, particularly after 1990, the study showed.

Wefornews Bureau

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