Music genre and behaviour

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This chapter represents Part 1 of this two-part study. The research questions for this chapter are presented next followed by an explanation of the study design and methodology for this section. There are several hypotheses that are presented along the way, including their statistical analyses. In an effort to make the statistical aspects more reader-friendly, graphical representations were used to depict the quantity relationships of the variables—where available. The statistical analyses are based on the results obtained from a questionnaire that was used for this sample group. The questionnaire spanned several avenues, including questions about music preference, media use, sexual behaviours, and religiosity. The main areas were separated into three categories: demographic data, media data, and data related to religion. The chapter thus follows a categorised layout.
The complete quantitative study is presented in this chapter. After some of the results are given there is a narrative about the findings. The reason for intermingling discussions along the way was that there were many tests conducted, which could give rise to a bloated single discussion section that would be very long. A summarised discussion was presented for the main findings from the various statistical analyses. A review of the challenges and limitations are presented at the end of the chapter, including aspects such as validity and bias. The results from this chapter were used as a basis for the qualitative study—Part 2 of this thesis.

Research Questions

This quantitative study adheres to a positivist paradigm. The research questions are applicable to a quantitative approach and are spread across the subject areas of music, sex, and religiosity.
Music media usage and sexuality
The following aspects were investigated:
b) What are the most popular music genres for engineering university students who are aged 18 to 30?
c) What are the most common media platforms that the participants use for their music media?
d) What are the music listening times for this sample?
e) What are the music video watching times for this sample?
any patterns between music genre and sexuality also took place. The categories studied were as follows:
I. Music genre and number of sexual partners; II. Music genre and virginity status;
III. Music genre and attitudes towards casual sex; and IV. Music genre and mean age of losing virginity.

Music, sex, and religiosity

Are there relationships between level of religiosity, music choice, and sexuality? This research question was addressed by investigating the following:
a) Hoge Religiosity Score and number of sexual partners.
b) Hoge Religiosity Score and age of losing virginity.
c) Hoge Religiosity Score and virginity status.
d) Hoge Religiosity Score and favourite music genre.

The Study Design

Sampling method

The candidates were sampled using both purposive sampling in terms of an age demographic and convenience sampling in terms of access to the participants. Consent was granted from the University of Johannesburg’s faculty of engineering for the students to be included in the research study. The sample63 consisted of 459 university students both undergraduate and postgraduate engineering students from the Doornfontein campus situated in the Gauteng province of South Africa. The students were mainly from one ethnic group—Black South Africans64—reflecting the enrolment characteristic of the 2014 academic registrations of engineering students at this university. This also reflects the census data for the Gauteng province65. The other ethnic groups of Coloured, Indian/Asian, and White were present but collectively accounted for less than 10% of the sample group66. Within the dominant ethnic group there were language differences, including Zulu, Sotho, Tswana, Xhosa, amongst others. The participants who took part were within the age group of 18-30 years old.
There is a possibility of subordination that may occur when students are performing questionnaires for their lecturer. To counteract any subordination effects, the students who participated were not registered in any active courses that I presented. I sampled from colleagues’ students as well as from the different departments within the engineering faculty. Participants were pooled from the mechanical, industrial, civil, and electrical engineering departments. The respective lecturers allowed me to use the remainder of their class time to perform my survey. This meant that I would arrive at the various classes (studio classrooms as shown in Figure 3.1) in the remaining 35 minutes of the class time. I would present my request for participation in the questionnaire part of the study. The aim was to achieve 250 usable questionnaires. This aim was exceeded by the overwhelming response from the students in completing their questionnaires, even for the seemingly sensitive questions that were asked. The total sample size resulted in 459 usable questionnaires. The questionnaires were completed by different groups on different days. The groups differed in size with some comprising of less than 25 participants while other groups exceeded 100 students per sitting. Several sessions were used to allow the different student groups to complete their questionnaires.

Ethics, informed consent, and confidentiality

Participants were orally briefed as to the process of the research experiment and its voluntary participation. It was orally explained that participation is voluntary and that no linking of the participants to their questionnaires could take place, as no personal identifying information was required to complete the questionnaire. The questionnaire specifically stated that the participants must not write their name or any other identifying information on the paper. Participants were told that they may opt out at any time. All participants were given personal space to complete their questionnaires. Two venues were used that allowed for all individuals to have their own writing space shielded from any onlookers, as shown in Figure 3.1. Each questionnaire had a blank front page enabling further privacy for the participants as they completed their questions. The blank page served two purposes: First, it allowed participants to cover the page underneath. Second, it could be used as a shield to cover one’s work from someone who may have walked past.
Upon completion, all participants inserted their questionnaires into a ballot box. The data was only handled by me for the entire study. No third parties had any access to any of the questionnaires. There were a few blank questionnaires found in the ballot box. No participant was under the age of 18 in the study. Permission was obtained from both the heads of the mechanical and engineering departments (industrial and civil departments fall under mechanical).

The questionnaire


The questionnaire67 was three pages long plus the blank front page (see Appendix A). The questionnaire was split into sections: general information, sex and sexuality questions, music and music media questions, and religiosity questions. In the first section, general demographic information questions such as age and gender were asked. In the sex and sexuality section (second section), the participants were asked if they had engaged in penetrative sexual intercourse, the age of first sexual encounter (if any), the number of sex partners, attitude to casual sex, and whether they are married. The third section related to music and media. The music and media section was a mixture of multiple choice questions as well as 10 open-ended questions. In the multiple choice questions, participants were asked to select the best description for their view of music, their time spent listening to music, and their time spent watching music videos. The open-ended questions asked participants which technology medium they mostly use to watch music videos, the service provider, their favourite music genres, as well as their parents’ favourite music genre. There was a question about the participants’ worst genre and if they felt there is such a thing as evil music. These questions about the participant’s favourite music genre, the music (if any) they thought was evil or against God, were also used for the qualitative study.
The last page had a religiosity scale. The religiosity scale used for this study is Hoge’s (1972) 10-item intrinsic religious motivation scale. The scale consists of seven intrinsic and three extrinsic criteria. The 10 questions were originally part of a 30-question scale which was reduced based on validity and reliability measures from correlation and factor analysis of Christian participants (Hoge, 1972:371). The main criticism of Hoge’s complete scale is that it may be too long (for the 30-question version) and a shorter version would be a better fit for some questionnaires (Fetzer, 1999:72). There has been criticism aimed at the division of intrinsic versus extrinsic scales and the defining criteria for each (Kirkpatrick & Wood, 1990). This criticism spans works as early as Allport and Ross’s efforts (1967). The argument regarding what is defined as intrinsic and extrinsic is valid; however, the Hoge scale is a good measure of religiosity and has been used quite often in its reduced format acknowledging the critique of the longer version. The religious denominations of the participants were almost all found to be Christian and thus the scale is fit for purpose as its validity was measured in terms of this same religion.
The religiosity section had one additional rating question added which asked participants to rate how much religion impacts the music they listen to. This question was added as a precursor to the qualitative study in order to investigate if people’s views on religion impact their choice of music.
Each participant was given 20 minutes to answer the questionnaire with most completing it within this time frame. Participants who needed extra time were not restricted. As the questionnaire had various parts, omissions of some questions did not negate the use of the questionnaire in other parts, unless the participant did not enter their age or gender. From the entire sample only a handful of questionnaires were discarded. This was mainly due to omissions in the age or gender questions or if the participant fell out of the age demographic of 18 – 30 years old.

Lie scales and logical analysis of the questionnaire

Even though the questionnaire was anonymous, participants may still be untruthful in their responses, especially for questions that relate to virginity status and number of sexual partners. To address this, the questionnaire had qualifying questions that interlinked earlier questions. For example, participants were asked their virginity status, thereafter they were asked how many sexual partners they had. Participants were also asked when they last engaged in sexual intercourse as well as their attitudes to casual sex. These questions formed a cluster, which means that upon analysing the questionnaires one could review all these answers in determining the validity.
In terms of attitudes towards music, participants were asked the same question albeit slightly differently in two separate parts of the questionnaire. For example, the first instance had the following layout:
Which of the following phrases best describes your view of music? (Section 1 – question 1)
A: I love it and can’t live without it.
B: I enjoy it.
C: I could live without it.
D: I am indifferent.
E: I don’t like it.
In the second instance of the question, the layout was changed to:
Which phrase best describes how you feel about music: (Section 1- question 4)
A: I could live without it.
B: I don’t think I could live without it.
C: I don’t think I could live without it and its one of the most important things in my life.
When coding the completed questionnaires, an analysis of the responses for errors was conducted. The questionnaire results were checked for congruency between questions. If a person stated that they love music and cannot live without it, it would be surprising if this same participant selected the lowest listening time option and vice versa.
Another example of authenticating answers occurred when respondents were asked their favourite music genre. Following this, participants were asked to provide examples of artists who reflect this genre. By reviewing each participant’s favourite music genre and their choice of artists, one could also determine the accuracy of the participant answers. Thus, analyses were performed on the questionnaires to determine if the responses were logical in terms of each participant’s other answer selections68. The analysis of the questionnaires is discussed under some of the results for certain statistical tests.

Challenges in creating a questionnaire on sex, music genre, and religiosity


There were a few completed questionnaires that had a missing selection for male and female gender options. This could have been an omission error on the participant’s part or it may have been intentional as not everyone categorises them self as either male or female. For example, Facebook gives additional gender options amounting to 58 in total (Benko, 2014). An option for other could have been provided in the questionnaire.

Virginity status, sex, and sex partners

The basis for what determines if someone is a virgin is not clear and has much ambiguity in different societies. Defining and interpreting virginity and sex is a complex endeavour (Wilson, Smith & Menn, 2013). What it means to have sex is commonly understood as involving certain activities both in everyday terms as well as in research terms; however, defining sex is more complicated, especially when legal definitions used in case law tend to define it in terms of penetration of a penis into a vagina. This is troublesome in the informal public domain as terms such as oral sex or anal sex are used extensively (Trotter & Alderson, 2007). This is further complicated by the variability in people’s descriptions of sexual partners. Not all people consider those who they engaged in oral sex with as a sex partner. In Wilson, Smith and Menn’s study on definitions of virginity, there were gender differences in how undergraduate university students endorsed what being a virgin meant. For example, 36% of males in their study felt that “not going all the way” constituted still being a virgin, while 30% of females felt the same way. In terms of oral sex, there was a closer similarity between males and females with an average of 53% feeling that oral sex does not constitute losing one’s virginity. Interestingly, the remaining 46% felt that oral sex should not take place if one is to be called a virgin.
There is also variability in how virginity is defined across lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals (Averett, Moore, & Price, 2014). A new theme of virginity has arisen: something that can be lost more than once. In this sense the term virginity is not accepted across all domains, with some people referring to it simply as “first time” (Averett, Moore, & Price). This means first time for male female interludes, first time for male male interactions, first time for threesomes, and so forth. To manage this problem in the study, the questionnaire asked the participant how many sexual partners they have had and then further asked them when they last engaged in sexual intercourse. It is hoped that by expanding this area with the question of when last they engaged in sexual intercourse that inconsistencies (if present) could be uncovered. There were a few participants who completed questionnaires that selected the non-virgin option, yet these same participants noted zero penetrative sexual partners. The other situation was when the virgin status was still chosen as virgin, yet they reported having penetrative sex. These few questionnaires were amounted to less than 10. I pondered using specific terms such as penis, vagina, and anus in order to refine the definition of sex within this study. However, the term penetrative was used instead, which meant for this study both the legal definition of sexual intercourse was accepted as well as anal sex.
It was decided to keep the questions about sex completely separate from the questions about religiosity. This is why the music section was the middle section of the questionnaire. This is also why participants were asked to name some of their favourite artists in order to create a thought gap between the sexuality questions and the religiosity questions. It was hoped that the music section would distract participants’ thinking reducing possible priming in the religiosity section.
English as a second language and the use of open-ended qualifying questions
Most of the participants had English as their second language. Keeping this fact in mind, I composed questions that were in simple English. The questions had no double negatives, no abbreviations nor conjunctions70. Open-ended questions were slotted into the questionnaire to improve the evaluation of whether the participants understood the preceding questions as discussed next.
Open-ended questions: music genre categorisation and temporal stability
The open-ended questions were specifically inserted in the questionnaire as a type of qualifying question set. For example, after asking about the participant’s favourite music details and associated mediums, there was an open-ended question asking the participant to tell what their favourite artist sings about. The response to this question frames the response to the previous questions allowing for a congruency analysis. For example, many people who said musician Eminem was their favourite artist also said he sings about money and treating women in a certain manner. People who selected gospel artists stated that the artist sings about praise, Jesus, and similar religious themes. It would be a red flag if someone said their favourite artist was the band Jesus Culture and then stated that this band sings about money and sex with random women. In comparing the answers for these two questions, logical screening of the answers was possible.
Another aspect that needed to be considered was that it was unknown whether the participants would have sufficient knowledge of music genres and whether these participants would have selected the artist and genre combination in accordance with mainstream crowdsourced labelling. For example, the participants were asked to name their favourite genre/s and then their favourite artists. There was a challenge in that many artists may be classified in more than one genre owing to their evolution of music style (also discussed in the literature review – Chapter 2). If participants noted their favourite genre as jazz but then gave rock artists as examples, one could determine that either the participants made a mistake in categorising their genre and artists, or participants like jazz but their favourite artists are from another genre. For example, a person may have Norwegian Black metal as their favourite genre in a general sense, but this same person may also have a gospel artist as their favourite—although unlikely. In this case the favourite genre and favourite musician would not all align. An interesting finding in the study was that the favourite genre and favourite artists were in fact aligned.
The answers to the open-ended questions were answered well with most people writing more than one sentence. I cross-referenced the answers given to determine if the respondent understood the section, which also allowed for an assessment of the comprehension of the questions. For example, the respondents were asked their favourite music genre, favourite artist, and the themes that the artist sings about. If the favourite music genre was chosen to be techno while the favourite artist was André Rieu, and the theme of the artist’s music was sex, one could quickly notice a problem71. Interestingly, across 459 questionnaires there was no error in this regard as there was consistency in the answers that the participants provided.
The temporal changes that may occur in terms of music genre enjoyment were not accounted for in this first part of the study. A person may have originally liked house music and some time later started to enjoy rap music, or even both. This challenge has been discussed at certain points in this chapter. The reader is reminded that the purpose of this chapter was to gain a snapshot of the participants’ music media, sexuality, and religiosity aspects. The findings of this chapter are meant to provide a basis for a more refined qualitative study – Part 2. In the qualitative part, the temporal aspects have been investigated.

Religiosity and the possibility of evil music


The Hoge scale was more eloquent in its language use but I noticed from reading the participant responses that they understood the questionnaire. Some participants even made additional comments in various places on the questionnaire, such as “it’s not a religion, it’s a relationship”, “If you love God you will always respect Him despite the music”, “I do not belong to a religious movement”. The Hoge scale was completed by most of the respondents. The Hoge scale is composed of 10 questions in a Likert scale. The first seven are extrinsic while the last three are intrinsic. The intrinsic are reverse scored. If the respondent answered all questions with the same answer for questions 1 to 10, their religiosity scale was disregarded. There were a few that had all the 10 questions having the same answer of strongly agree. This type of response is contradictory and is assumed to be completed ad hoc. To further check this, I inserted a question after the Hoge scale asking participants about whether religion impacts their choice of music. Most people answered this with a moderately disagree (Likert scale 2 on the questionnaire). When people answered all their 10 questions and the additional question with all the same values, it was probable that they were just ad hoc writing answers. I disregarded seven questionnaires in totality for this reason.
Each respondent was asked to name their worst music, as well as any music they thought was evil or against God. Again, the answers to these questions qualify the earlier questions. A person’s worst music would be different from their favourite music genre, thus through logical analysis one could ascertain questionnaires that were not completed diligently. There was no questionnaire that had a contradiction. Overall the music and music media section were answered enthusiastically. The participants wrote their favourite songs and artists, with more than half of the participants giving more than three answers for their favourite artist/song.

Usable responses

There were 459 usable questionnaires. Most people completed the whole questionnaire. There were some questionnaires that had missing answers yet were still usable for the parts that were completed. Thus, the statistical analyses and results which are presented throughout this chapter have different sample sizes. For each statistical analysis, the total sample size for the test is stated.

Statistical Analyses

Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS version 22 Software. Microsoft Excel 2013 was also used for graphing and some statistical calculations. The statistical analysis for each category of the questionnaire follows next. For most of the sections the actual question that the participant was asked in the questionnaire was copied and placed prior to the statistical analysis for each part of the sections to frame the section/sub section for the reader.

Statistical analyses: sex and sexuality

Demographics: age, gender, and marital status

The questionnaire sample size of 459 usable questionnaires was available. The average age for the total sample group was M=21,37 years old with SD = 2,49. The allowable range for the study was 18 to 30 years of age. There were 315 males and 144 females who took part in this study. Thus, 69% of the sample were males. The graphical representation of the frequency in ages is shown in Figure 3.2.
Out of the 459 participants, 12 people stated they were married. There were seven people who did not select an option for the marriage question, thus the total sample group for this category reduces to 459-7=452. The pie chart shows the married versus unmarried status (Figure 3.3). All the participants who stated they were still virgins, also stated they were unmarried; thus, there were no married virgins.

Table of Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables
Introduction: Primary and Sub Research Questions, Aims, and Objectives
All Encompassing Music in a Network Society
Why Study Music, Sexuality, and Religiosity?
What led me to this study
Music genres
Personal interpretations (and cybernetics)
The interplay between the observer and their environment
A question of compatibility
The intersection between music, sex, and religiosity
Music Research: Contributions Emanating from this Study
Music as a universal aspect of everyday life
Functions of music
Music genre and behaviour
Mainstream music videos
Sexualisation of music and music media
Music and religion
Research in Religious Studies: Motivation and Contributions of this Study
Religious studies methodology
Critique of religious studies methodology
Epistemology: The underpinnings of methodology
Epistemology and linguistic domains
The impact of the message: patterns in observations
Addressing epistemology with second-order cybernetics and multiple methodologies
Underlying aims
Clarifying rigour
Defining the scope
Definition of paradigms used
Theoretical structure and philosophical evaluation
The research process
Methodological triangulation
A reflexive recursive learning approach to religious studies
Key concepts used in this thesis
Music media
Music as a universal aspect of everyday life
Importance of music across age groups
Music preference: rationale for study
The function of music
Music and social identity
Music as a leisure activity and a conversation piece
Music genre and behaviour
Genre descriptors
Music genre and associated behaviour
Music genre and emotional responses
Mainstream music videos
What is a music video and what is its purpose?
Music video styles and conventions
Music video grammar
Mainstream music themes
Sexualisation of music and music media
Is popular music media sexualised?
Changing trends: sexuality and politics
Measuring sexual content in music videos
The musician in the music video and their sexuality
Sexuality, viewer enjoyment, impression formation, and gender differences
Music and religion (Christianity)
Music and musicians as religion
Christianity embedded in music
Co-occurrence of religion and sexuality
Music Media
Media effects
Social learning theory
Cultivation effect
Excitation transfer theory
Sexuality as a media-induced social construction
Music media as a reflection of a society
Platforms and music availability
Immediate gratification: legal and illegal downloading
Research Questions
Music media usage and sexuality
Music, sex, and religiosity
The Study Design
Sampling method
Ethics, informed consent, and confidentiality
The questionnaire
Lie scales and logical analysis of the questionnaire
Challenges in creating a questionnaire on sex, music genre, and religiosity
Usable responses
Statistical Analyses
Statistical analyses: sex and sexuality
Demographics: age, gender, and marital status
Virginity and penetrative sex
Age of losing virginity
Sexual partners and date of last sexual intercourse
Casual sex
Statistical analyses: music and media
Music media demographics
Favourite music genre and sexuality
Statistical analyses: religiosity
Religious denominations
Hoge Religiosity Scale
Discussion of Results
Challenges, Limitations, and Reflections
Internal validity
Construct validity
Content validity
Criterion validity
Selection bias
Expectation, confirmation, and publication bias
Data dredging bias
External validity
Moving forward: reflecting on the study’s fit for purpose and how to improve it
Music genre
Further statistical tests
What is cybernetics?
The evolution of cybernetics and second-order cybernetics
Second-order cybernetics
Rationale for using a cybernetic approach
Conversation theory
Processes, processors, speech acts, and variety
Errors in human communication: hearing and seeing
Owning one’s own epistemology: lessons from therapy
A not-knowing stance: making the expert disappear
Labelling of behaviours
The observer effect
Cybernetic principles and how they relate to the interviews
Black box
The Turing Test
Listen and learn
The map is not the territory
Problems with a model

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