R-E-S-P-E-C-T: The Changing Role of Women in the Music Industry
This paper examined trends in the depiction and presence of women in popular music and how the two are interrelated. In order to perform this analysis, the top five songs according to the Billboard Hot 100 charts from every year for the past fifty years (1960-2010) were chosen. These 255 songs were coded for various indicators, which show how depictions of women have changed over time and how these depictions differ by gender of the vocalist. Through analysis, we found that the presence of women in the Billboard Hot 100 is experiencing an overall uphill trend, and with it the presence of positive messages in female artists' music. However, negative messages are also increasing, especially in the lyrics of male artists and mixed-gender groups. Also, sexual lyrics have increased through time.