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The proper APA Style reference for this manuscript is:
KAHLER, N. R. (2002). The Relationship Between Music and Sex. National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse, 5. Available online at http://www.webclearinghouse.net/volume/. Retrieved September 26, 2023 .

The Relationship Between Music and Sex

Sponsored by: Brian Cronk (cronk@missouriwestern.edu)
It was hypothesized that a person’s musical taste or preference would have no relationship with the age at which that person became sexually active. Many previous studies related to this topic have been conducted focusing on one or a very few musical genres. Contrary to popular belief and previous findings, musical taste had no significant relationship to when a person became sexually active. In direct contrast too much of the previous and published research, those preferring Hard Rock and Rap had the highest average ages in regards to engaging in initial sexual activity. The results of this study are probably heavily influenced by the age of the participant and the popularity of certain genres over others in the participants peer group. Further research could prove useful if any causation is to be explored. Much of the previous research on such a relationship has only focused on only one or a few pre-determined genres of music at a time. Studies such as the one conducted by Kevin and Weiss were not only limited to certain musical preferences, but also explored a wide range of aspects of personal life that might have been affected by the music (Kevin & Weiss, 1994). Their study looked for a relationship that Heavy Metal and Rap music might have with a wide range of problems experienced by adolescents and not just sexual experience. Other research has focused on sexuality and in these studies the media has continually turned up as a major influence on sexual activeness (Pediatrics,2001). Again, however, a wide range of sexual activities and habits were explored as well as other types of media other than just music. Television is cited most often as being the single most powerful media-influence on the cognitive processes and behavior of people in today’s society (Thompson & Pingree, 1991). Music videos have been scrutinized by researchers and have been identified as being very powerful in their portrayal of sexual issues such as teenage pregnancy. While these and other studies have yielded some useful and interesting information, none have established a clear relationship between musical taste and the age of initial sexual activity. It is not enough to know that the media is having some influence on sexual activity or even how that activity is being influenced. There is a need to identify specifically what in the media, if anything, is having the most direct influence. Initial sexual experiences can be life-changing events that could possibly be the source of turmoil for many years to come. The age at which a person becomes sexually active is of great concern to parents and society in general from a medical as well as emotional perspective. By focusing only on sexual activity including, but not limited to, intercourse and the type of music that was most prevalent at the time of that experience, I hope to expose any clear relationships that sex might have with a certain genre or genres.

ParticipantsThe participants in this study were students in Biology 101 and Earth Science 101 classes at Missouri Western State College. Their participation will be completely voluntary and no other discriminating factors will be used. Their age and gender will be random and not controlled for, but both will be recorded. MaterialsA scale consisting of 7 items was completed by each of the participants. See Appendix.ProcedureThe scales indicated the ages at which the participants engaged in the defined activities as well as what their musical preference was at that time. The participants also indicated their current ages, musical preferences and gender.

The average ages at which participants initially engaged in sexual activity and their preference of six different types of music that they could have listened to at that time were compared using a one-way ANOVA. No significant difference was found (F(5,74)=1.822, p>.05). Their musical preferences did not have a significant relationship to the age at which they initially became sexually active.The average ages at which participants initially engaged in sexual intercourse and their preference of six possible types of music at that time were compared using a one-way ANOVA. No significant difference was found (F(5,62)=.639, p>.05). Their musical preferences did not have any significant relationship to the age at which they initially engaged in sexual intercourse.An independent-samples t-test comparing the ages at which participants first engaged in sexual intercourse found a significant difference between the means of males and females (t(66)=3.22, p<.05). The mean age of females was significantly lower (m=16.37, sd=1.58) than the mean age of males (m=17.86, sd=1.35).

The findings of this study indicate that musical preference did not significantly relate to sexual activity or intercourse. There were interesting relationships, however slight, concerning some of the genres. For instance, Hard Rock and Rap music yielded the highest average age for initial sexual activity. These relationships contrast directly with much of the published research. In addition, Country and R&B music yielded the highest average age for initial sexual intercourse. Musical tastes in this study seem only to reflect the preferences of society in general. While, as previously stated, none of these relationships were statistically significant, they might prove useful as areas for further research. Regardless of musical tastes, this study also indicated that, on average, females engage in sexual intercourse approximately 1.5 years earlier than males. This relationship was found to be statistically significant.

American Academy of Pediatrics (2001). Sexuality, contraception, and the media. Pediatrics, 107(1), 191-195. Kevin, J., & Weiss, D. (1994). The relationship between heavy metal and rap music and adolescent turmoil: Real or artifact? Adolescence, 29(115), 613-624. Thompson, M., & Pingree, S. (1991). Long-term norms and cognitive structures as shapers of television viewer activity. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 35(3), 319-335.


The purpose of this information is to attempt to identify possible relationships between musical preference and initial sexual activeness. DEFINITIONS:Sexual activity: Any voluntary physical contact with another persons genitals, or contact with your genitals by another person, for physical gratification. Sexual intercourse: An act, between 2 people, carried out for reproduction or pleasure involving vaginal or anal penetration.

Music categories:1: Pop Rock 6: Rap 10: Folk2: Country 7: Jazz 11: Classical3: Alternative 8: New Age 12: Latin4: Hard Rock 9: Folk 13: Other ____5: R&B 10: Classical 14: Other ____ Please answer the following questions honestly based on the given definitions and numbered musical categories. Circle “n/a” if the question does not apply to you.

1: Age at which you first engaged in sexual activity? n/a______

2: What was your musical preference at that time? #______

3: Age at which you first engaged in sexual intercourse? n/a______

4: What is your musical preference at that time? #______

5: What is your musical preference at the present time? #______

6: Circle gender: male female

7: Present age: _______

Submitted 4/30/2002 8:11:28 AM
Last Edited 4/30/2002 8:32:56 AM
Converted to New Site 03/09/2009

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