Study shows Americans love songs about sex

Leading professor's analysis finds 10 sex references in each of 2009's best-selling songs

A new study shows Americans like their music sexy.

After analysing the top-selling country, pop and R&B songs in 2009, for lyrics that had “reproductive messages”, namely tracks by Rihanna, Katy Perry and LMFAO, scientists found the vast majority of hits had sexy references.

“Approximately 92% of the 174 songs that made it into the Billboard Top 10 in 2009 contained reproductive messages,” said Dawn R. Hobbs, psychology professor at the State University Of New York and lead author of the study in Evolutionary Psychology.


For the survey, songs were checked for 18 specially chosen, sexually themed references, including ‘genitalia’, ‘infidelity’ and ‘mate guarding’.

The study found the best-selling songs had “an average of 10.49 sex-related phrases per song”, according to The Atlantic Wire.

Proof, if it were still needed, that sex sells – but it’s not a new strategy.

Elsewhere in her study, Professor Hobbs found that did the trend not only stretch back to the birth of rock’n’roll, but to opera.

“While the frequency of some of the themes differ,” she added, “these findings clearly show that the same reproductive categories derived from the content analysis of our initial sample of 2009 contemporary songs map surprisingly well onto the lyrics from opera and arts songs dating back hundreds of years.”


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