Sexism: Bollywood's item songs

Amin Choudhury, Arshia. 2020. Sexism: Bollywood's item songs. IAHRW International Journal of Social Sciences, 8(4-6), pp. 223-228. ISSN 2347-3797 [Article]

No full text available
[img] Text
Sexism_Bollywood's_item_songs.pdf - Published Version
Permissions: Administrator Access Only

Download (475kB)

Abstract or Description

The purpose of the present study was to examine sexist lyrics in the most popular Bollywood item songs. Patriarchy and sexism are strengthened by cultural practices, which then effect mainstream cinema and songs. These go forward to influence the audiences that consume them. Songs are especially interesting because they do not require a visual medium to be consumed, and can be involuntarily consumed in public places and through the radio. Certain songs are also more popular than their parent movies, and item songs are a genre of songs which are very prevalent in India. These songs not only visually depict women as a product of the male gaze, but also have lyrics which are both overtly and covertly predominantly sexist. A list of the most popular Bollywood item songs was prepared, and English translation of these songs was obtained from 3 different websites (,, Thematic analysis was used for the interpretation of the data. Patterns relating to sexism were identified, and 'stalking', 'sexualisation', 'objectification' and 'stereotypical portrayal of genders' were the four themes derived from the sexist lyrics.

Item Type:


Additional Information:

© 2020 Indian Association of Health, Research and Welfare


sexism, item songs, Bollywood, stalking, sexualisation, objectification, stereotypical portrayal of genders

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)


June 2020Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

12 Mar 2024 15:13

Last Modified:

12 Mar 2024 15:13

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)