‘Dear Future Husband’: young people’s critical exploration of gender and sexuality in pop music videos

  • Elly Scrine University of Melbourne
Keywords: teenager, Gender, sexuality, popular culture, music videos, music


This study aimed to explore how young people can critically engage with music videos to explore dominant constructions of gender and sexuality. As the primary consumers of popular music and music videos, adolescents are also a group who exist in a unique sociocultural space, where both misogyny and feminism are present in their highly media-driven lives. This study used focus group workshops with young people in high school to generate qualitative data based on the participants’ discussion and interpretations of gender and sexuality in two music videos. Seven groups of young people aged 14 – 16 analysed two popular music videos and reflected particularly upon discourses of expected femininity and female sexuality. Discussion elucidated insightful analysis around gendered subjectivity, and presented three complex and opposing themes, which are explored in detail. A cohesive thread emerged in the data in which young people demonstrated their capacity to identify hegemonic gender constructs, while also relying on these constructs to read and police the women shown in the music videos.

Author Biography

Elly Scrine, University of Melbourne

Elly Scrine is a graduate researcher at the University of Melbourne, Australia. As a music therapist specialising in working with adolescents, Elly’s PhD examines the role of music therapy in exploring young people’s lived experiences of gender, power and violence. Based in the high school setting, Elly’s research looks at how discourses of risk and deprivation are used to uphold colonial, raced, heterosexualised, gendered and classed exclusionary processes with young people, and how anti-oppressive approaches to music therapy practice can support young people on the margins.

October 17, 2017
How to Cite
Scrine, E. (2017). ‘Dear Future Husband’: young people’s critical exploration of gender and sexuality in pop music videos. Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network, 10(3), 6-26. https://doi.org/10.31165/nk.2017.103.516