Music promotes gender inequality, according to youths

  • 87% of youths participating in the study were critical towards the values and gender patters displayed in the music they listen to.

    87% of youths participating in the study were critical towards the values and gender patters displayed in the music they listen to.

Even when recognizing stereotypes and inequalities implicit in songs, teenagers admit that the representations of masculinity and femininity in music influence the way they dress and relate to others.

These, among others, are the conclusions of the European project “Play it for Change”. More concretely, the data come from the report on Catalonia drafted by Fundació Surt, one of the partner organizations in the project. This organization conducted interviews with students and teachers from three high schools in Catalonia to contribute to the study.

87% of youths participating in the study were critical towards the values and gender patters displayed in the music they listen to. Girls show a greater ability to analyze and identify more diverse and subtler forms of violence against women in music and feel more frustration, outrage and unrest.

More than 8 in 10 believe that, in music clips, the aspect of women is valued more than that of men. Furthermore, they highlight that women are represented in a hyper-sexualized and submissive way, while men are portrayed to be powerful, rich and objectifying women.

Despite having a critical view, this does not avoid the models of femininity and masculinity promoted in music from conditioning the expectations, likes and wishes of teenage boys and girls.

This should be worked on in class, but there is a lack of resources

And what do teachers think? They coincide to a large extent with the opinions expressed by their students: they define the music played by their teenage students as an element of identity and construction of their own subjectivity, and they affirm that music reproduces forms of discrimination against women. Teaches also warned that music conveys an ideal of love that is based on submission and dependency, and this poses a risk.

They also believe that this should be worked on in class, but they admit that a vast majority of teaches have no training on gender perspective. In view of this need, the project “Play it for Change” will provide training to teachers with tools to prevent violence against women through music and audiovisual productions.

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