While some research has been done on the influence of music lyrics on sexual behaviors in general, none has explored the lyrical influence on sexting. The goal of the current study is to explore the longitudinal influence of sexual and sexually objectifying lyrics on adolescent sexting behaviors. Participants were 125 14-year-old adolescents who were recruited from high schools in Texas. Participants completed questionnaires on music preferences, sexual behaviors and impulsivity and were given BlackBerry devices through which frequency of sexual text message utterances was obtained. Music preferences were then quantitatively analyzed using the Linguistic Inquiry Word Count (LIWC) software. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to explore the influence of both sexual and sexually objectifying lyrics on sexting behavior. Additionally, biological sex and impulsivity were explored as moderators. Analyses revealed that 40.65% of adolescents participated in some form of sexting at Time 3 (42.81% at Time 1) but that music lyrics had little direct influence on sexting. However, biological sex appeared to moderate the relationship between sexual lyrics and sexting such that males were much more likely to participate in sexting when exposed to sexual lyrics where females were not. These and other results are discussed as well as implications for parents and the need for further research on sexting and the behavioral influence of musical lyrics.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Marriage, Family, and Human Development

Date Submitted


Document Type





sexting, music lyrics, sex, sexually objectifying, BlackBerry Project