Committee Chair

Garland, Tammy S.

Committee Member

Policastro, Christina; McGuffee, Karen


Dept. of Criminal Justice and Legal Assistant Studies


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Prior research has explored the sexualization and objectification of women across media platforms, but very little attention has been devoted to examining the depiction of minors as sexual objects in the music industry. Given the illegality of forced sexual acts and consensual adult-juvenile sexual relationships, as well as the harmful effects, the current study utilizes a content analysis to identify popular musicians from various genres who have committed acts of sexual violence spanning from 1957-2021. Thus, this study examines incidents of sexual violence, specifically statutory rape, committed by musicians, their use of their celebrity to engage in such behaviors, and the relationship these acts of violence have with the artists’ music. While scholars have drawn attention to the ability of media platforms, including music and social media, to reinforce as well as shape existing cultural attitudes and beliefs, this is an area that warrants further systematic research as the link between the art and the artist has not been thoroughly investigated. Findings as well as implications regarding the cultivation effects of musicians who commit acts of sexual violence will be discussed.


I wish to express my deepest and sincerest thanks and appreciation to Dr. Tammy Garland, my committee chair, who has been a constant source of guidance throughout this process. Dr. Garland has acted as a source of inspiration throughout my academic career and her confidence, support, and encouragement have been some of the driving forces behind my journey during graduate school. I am forever grateful for her trust, patience, and assurance, without her I would not be where I am today. I also want to thank my committee members, Dr. Christina Policastro and Karen McGuffee, who were so gracious in providing their expertise for this study. Not only did Dr. Policastro and Professor McGuffee provide their support for this thesis, but they have also been instrumental in my success in the graduate program. Thank you again to all of my committee members for their time, effort, and advice throughout this process. Lastly, I would also like to thank my family and friends who have been with me through this experience. Thank you all for being my support system through this process and throughout graduate school. You all know who you are and I will never be able to express the level of gratitude I have for each of you as I would not be here without any of your support.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Statutory rape; Popular music--Social aspects; Music trade--Social aspects


sexual violence; statutory rape; cultivation theory; music; musicians; #MeToo

Document Type

Masters theses




viii, 59 leaves