An examination of the lyrical construction of pop music


  • Casey Hart Stephen F. Austin State University
  • George J Day Stephen F. Austin State University



language, sex differences, lyrics, popular music


The current study examines the use of five different dimensions of language in popular music based on the sex of the performer. Theoretically grounded in both social cognitive theory and cultivation theory, the study analyzes popular music as a vehicle for enculturating gender norms within society. Sampling and analyzing over 700 popular songs, the lyrical construction of songs performed by females and males is compared. Similarities are found in many key areas, while differences are identified in the specific areas of power language and social language. Additional differences are identified and discussed when artists perform in mixed-sex groups. Based on the results, a discussion of the prominence of male writers and lack of female representation in the music industry is included.

Author Biographies

  • Casey Hart, Stephen F. Austin State University

    Dr. Casey Hart holds doctorate degree in media and society from the University of Southern Mississippi, and teaches broadcast journalism, media theory, media history, and mass communication research at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. He has published papers on sex and gender representation in a variety of areas including advertising, television, and video games.

  • George J Day, Stephen F. Austin State University

    Dr. George J. Day holds a doctorate in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University and currently serves as an assistant professor of criminal justice at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.  Dr. Day’s primary areas of research include the use of animal assisted therapy in offender rehabilitation, criminal justice education, and the administration of criminal justice agencies.


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How to Cite

Hart, C., & Day, G. J. (2023). An examination of the lyrical construction of pop music. Journal of Research Design and Statistics in Linguistics and Communication Science, 7(1), 1-20.