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Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3827 posts) 5 months, 26 days ago

Poll: Why is there no "boy band" equivalent girl group aimed at boys? (320 votes)

Boys and girls are different, and like different things 34%
Boys don't generally like girl musicians 31%
Girls couldn't sing songs that would make only boys interested 15%
No one has tried it yet 8%
Because sexism! 34%
Because of another reason entirely. Allow me to explain... 16%

I was thinking about this today, and I'm still not entirely sure why this is a one-way street. Watch a video from a One Direction or Justin Bieber concert, and you pretty much see ONLY girls attending their concerts, but the opposite doesn't hold true for any female artist or group. Why is that? Why have music producers found a way to tap into the raging youth hormones of girls, but haven't been able to accomplish the same thing with boys?

I grew up listening to highly suggestive and sexy female musicians, but I've never seen any female artist or group end up with a larger number of male fans than female, and that's especially true when talking about 10 to 16 year old music fans. Again, why is that?

#1 Posted by AlexanderSheen (5040 posts) -

If you put a sexism option in there, of course I will pick that one.

#2 Posted by Jesus_Phish (983 posts) -

He man and Barbie. When you're a little boy, you get He-man, GI Joe, Batman, Action Man to play with. You're told explosions and guns and fighting and being tough is cool. When you're a little girl, you get Barbie and you're told shopping, boys and music are cool. I think the most important part there is that from a very early age, girls become associated with "getting" a boy.

Now look at the music that all these bands produce. Boy bands all look nice and sing songs about loving girls, getting with girls, being with girls. Even young female musicians aimed at girls will talk about getting with boys, going to the mall to hang with the boys, texting boys.

Young boys on the other hand, around that age, usually think "love is gay and those bands are stupid, lets go play football"*. When I was a young boy, none of my guy friends cared about music. There were magazines and bands aimed at all the girls, they'd buy Smash Hits or whatever. We'd buy premier league stickers or pokemon cards.

*actual real life experience here of my life as a 12 year old.

#3 Edited by Camelizer (96 posts) -

I'm not entirely sure myself. I mean I feel like the songs of groups like One Direction and Justin Bieber are made and marketed towards young girls. The songs generally seem to revolve around the subject of being their girlfriends or that the girls are the only ones for them, etc. There isn't really anything along those lines for, as you say, taping into the "raging hormones" of young guys that you could base a group around. I mean yeah you could get a group of really hot female singers together and make them a group but then what are you gonna have them sing about? I don't think the average teenage boy is gonna be interested in them singing songs about being in a loving relationship and making them feel special and I don't see that group getting public approval or they are being overtly sexual. Granted some of the lyrics of groups directed at young girls are really fucked up.

Cultural expectations of behavior in young boys/girls and the representation of groups like One Direction by the media also helps to create the kind of crazy fan base they possess. That's how I see it at least.

#4 Edited by TurboMan (7605 posts) -

Because single female artists draw just as much money as a group and they don't have to split it with anybody?

Thinking of the peak of boy bands, you had N*Sync and Backstreet Boys... and then you had dozens of girls who were doing just fine on their own (Brittany Spears, Christina Aguilera, Mandy Moore, Mariah Carey, Jessica Simpson)... also most of them were just singing about sex, which boys are super into.

It seemed that girl groups just didn't last that long either. Destiny's Child lasted for about two albums I think, and so did Spice Girls.

EDIT: Also, male voices harmonizing sound much more pleasant/interesting than females for whatever reason. Think Beatles... now try to figure out the female equivalent for that.

#5 Posted by Haruko (306 posts) -

Spice girls, TLC, Atomic Kitten, Dream, B*Witched, Salt n. Pepa, Divine. O god why do I remember all this shit.

#6 Posted by Tatsuyarr (71 posts) -

That does exist in Japan (Morning Musume, AKB48, etc.) and Korea and maybe even in China.

#7 Posted by ToTheNines (755 posts) -

I envy you, you were clearly born before the era of spice girls..

#8 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3827 posts) -
@haruko said:

Spice girls, TLC, Atomic Kitten, Dream, B*Witched, Salt n. Pepa, Divine. O god why do I remember all this shit.

@tothenines said:

I envy you, you were clearly born before the era of spice girls..

@turboman said:

Because single female artists draw just as much money as a group and they don't have to split it with anybody?

Thinking of the peak of boy bands, you had N*Sync and Backstreet Boys... and then you had dozens of girls who were doing just fine on their own (Brittany Spears, Christina Aguilera, Mandy Moore, Mariah Carey, Jessica Simpson)... also most of them were just singing about sex, which boys are super into.

It seemed that girl groups just didn't last that long either. Destiny's Child lasted for about two albums I think, and so did Spice Girls.

I think some of you are missing the point of this thread.

There are girl groups. There are boy groups. There are boy groups that attract almost exclusively female fans. There are no girl groups that attract almost exclusively male fans. Why is that?

EDIT: Also, male voices harmonizing sound much more pleasant/interesting than females for whatever reason. Think Beatles... now try to figure out the female equivalent for that.

How about every 60s girl group ever? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girl_group#1950s_and_1960s

#9 Posted by MB (12740 posts) -

Poll missing the required joke option, such as "Tralse", "A Jar of Mayonnaise", or "Richard Nixon".

Moderator
#11 Posted by obcdexter (622 posts) -

I envy you, you were clearly born before the era of spice girls..

Spice Girls were aimed at boys?

"Girl-Power" was supposed to draw a large male audience to their concerts? O_o

I agree with OP. I can't remember a single girl band that managed to round up a significant male following, no matter as how "sexy" they were marketed, although, of course, the likes of Tatu making out in videos or on-stage helped a bit, at least. But Spice Girls, TLC or Desitiny's Child and the likes all had a much larger female following. Dramatically so. Especially in the 10-16 years old demographic, since listening to that shit was a super "uncool" thing to do for teenage boys.

If I think back to my early teenage years the equivalent bands speaking to an almost exclusively male audience were all those that were loud, sweared a lot and, of course, hip hop artists. Didn't know many girls that age who were into rappers talking in great detail about their plans to viciously assault the rectums of their rivals' mothers.

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#12 Posted by AlexW00d (6309 posts) -

That does exist in Japan (Morning Musume, AKB48, etc.) and Korea and maybe even in China.

Whilst I can't necessarily speak for Japan, Kpop girl groups definitely have as many female fans as they do male, so I'm not sure that really counts towards what the topic is about.

#13 Edited by MooseyMcMan (11308 posts) -

I like to think that the answer is that guys are too into metal for something like that to work, but I know that's not the case.

I don't know anything about music, or have understood anything about music post grunge, so I don't know why I'm even commenting here.

Moderator
#14 Posted by DonChipotle (2785 posts) -

Because guys already like boy bands.

#15 Posted by cmblasko (1284 posts) -

Because girls are gross. Duh.

#16 Posted by blackichigo (173 posts) -

I think guys would rather SEE hot girls than just HEAR them. At least I would.

#17 Posted by TurboMan (7605 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac: Well... maybe it's that for a boy growing up in my era it would be considered "gay" to obsess over a girl group.

As stated above, a lot of girl groups (TLC, Spice Girls, Destiny's Child) were about female empowerment with songs like "No Scrubs", "Wannabe", "Survivor", etc...

Where as solo acts like Brittany Spears, Christina Aguilara, Mandy Moore were singing songs about sex like "I'm A Slave 4 U", "Genie in a Bottle", etc.

It's acceptable to publicly like the second group of people because they're "hot chicks".

Seriously... watch this with the mind of a 13 year old boy.

#18 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Because NSYNC already took the best name.

#19 Posted by JuggertrainUK (205 posts) -

I've often wondered about this. I don't think it would ever work. It would just look perverted and creepy if you had 10s of thousands of men at a concert to watch girls dance and sing, all the while scrambling to get to the front of the crowd desperately sticking their hands out hoping to cop a feel.

So even if you did try this, I think the majority of boys would be way too embarrassed to listen to the songs and show up to live shows.

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#20 Posted by Veektarius (4922 posts) -

I picked the "Guys don't listen to female artists" option. There might be some exceptions in the prog-space where people sing about dragons and string theory and shit, but I think that if girls were to sing lyrics that appealed more to men than to women, it would have a subject matter that would be considered demeaning to the singers involved.

#21 Posted by Lumley (962 posts) -

Because they're pop groups and pop groups/artists are generally more popular with teenage girls than teenage boys (regardless of gender)

#22 Posted by Termite (2398 posts) -

@alexw00d said:

@tatsuyarr said:

That does exist in Japan (Morning Musume, AKB48, etc.) and Korea and maybe even in China.

Whilst I can't necessarily speak for Japan, Kpop girl groups definitely have as many female fans as they do male, so I'm not sure that really counts towards what the topic is about.

This is definitely the case for the Japanese girl groups. AKB48 does attract a male audience, but that male audience isn't comprised of "boys." It's mainly otaku. Their largest - though perhaps not most dedicated - demographic is still young girls who want to be just like them.

Which I find super sad, but hey, what do I know?

#23 Posted by Petiew (1353 posts) -

It would just look perverted and creepy if you had 10s of thousands of men at a concert to watch girls dance and sing, all the while scrambling to get to the front of the crowd desperately sticking their hands out hoping to cop a feel.

You've described pretty much every AKB48 concert. Except swap copping a feel with synchronised chanting.

#24 Posted by seveword (177 posts) -

Guys don't buy that shit, they'll just jerk off and move on. Short attention span, mostly.

#25 Posted by Rafaelfc (1382 posts) -

Most of my friends are incredibly resistant to the idea of listening to a female fronted band (even rock bands like Halestorm and Dead Sara, let alone a pop group).

Maybe listening to girls singing is deemed as being too in touch with their feminine side, I don't know.

#26 Posted by afabs515 (1191 posts) -

Hey, man, there are some really talented groups of women targeted to men on the internet. Trust me.

#27 Posted by MasterRain (316 posts) -

Teenage boys don't get super attached to icky girls in the same way, I think they prefer strong male role models. Go to a rock or metal concert and you'll find that's where all the men have gone.

#28 Posted by AlexW00d (6309 posts) -

@rafaelfc said:

Most of my friends are incredibly resistant to the idea of listening to a female fronted band (even rock bands like Halestorm and Dead Sara, let alone a pop group).

Maybe listening to girls singing is deemed as being too in touch with their feminine side, I don't know.

Or ya know, they prefer a male voice? I know a couple of ladies who don't care much for female fronted bands either, and I'm not sure you can pick that down to sexism can you?

#29 Posted by spraynardtatum (3252 posts) -

Because that would be too many teenage boners in one place. And nobody needs that.

#30 Posted by Wilshere (324 posts) -

Because its bubbly pop music. Way back all my friends either listened to rap or metal. You can include dubstep and drum & bass before that.

#31 Posted by Cybertification (205 posts) -

Teenagers just watch porn. Why would they need sexy music?

#32 Posted by ShaggE (6555 posts) -

At that age, I was all about whatever song I enjoyed listening to, never mind gender or genre. I just liked music. It caught me a lot of shit from peers when I'd happily bump some TLC or something, but the number of fucks given always weighed in favor of the music.

That's still the case, although I now actively prefer a female singer to male in most instances. Looking at what I've been listening to on Spotify recently: Regina Spektor, Fiona Apple, Patti Smith, The Offspring. One of these things is not like the other, and it's the one that is on there because of nostalgia. (and I genuinely like Offspring, but still, mostly nostalgia)

But yeah, mild tangent aside, it's because... err... reasons. Shit. I had a bunch of quick answers, and none of them held up to my own scrutiny.

#33 Edited by Marcsman (3239 posts) -

Girls cannot get along for a extended period of time?

#34 Edited by TournamentOfHate (493 posts) -

What's crazy is the whole period where the Spice Girls ruled the world was only about 2 years. Girls loved them more than any boy band and boys didn't quite hate to look at them either(even if the younger ones wouldn't admit it).

#35 Posted by billymagnum (837 posts) -

maybe its not obvious, but there are absolutely "artists" that are aimed at boys. you think Katy Perry prances around the stage with her boobs all out because the girls like that? in the real world, i think 99% of the time if a girl walks past another girl dressed provocatively, the other girl instantly despises them. for some reason though, its cool in this situation.

i think that the business mentality is:

rather than just have one sex locked in for income, go after both sexes.

girls will buy the music as well as the merchandise proudly and in the open while the boys will obsess behind closed doors. if you dont make the music pop, you lose the girls' money. if you don't make the "artist" sexy, you lose the boys' money. you need to control both sexes for maximum profits. period.

all hail the evil music industry.

#36 Edited by Dixavd (1359 posts) -

Isn't that the whole point of Girls Aloud and The Saturdays. Two girl groups here in the UK which seem more interested at aiming to be sexy for boys than fun for girls.

#37 Posted by SingingMenstrual (327 posts) -

I think it's what some dudes here said: Girls like relationships and love, and that's easy to deliver. Boys want hardcore sex and titties, and you can't give that shit in mainstream music without getting censored and banned etc..

If porn was legal in public, you'd have a lot of female bands that attract boy-only audiences.

#38 Posted by Cheesebob (1243 posts) -

I feel Nicki Minaj almost does that.

#39 Posted by Jesus_Phish (983 posts) -

Actually do Kittie count? They were aimed at teenage boys right?

#40 Edited by mikey87144 (1797 posts) -

Like some have said in Japan the female groups are aimed at boys. There was also this Russian duo that either pretended to be or actually were lesbians and used it as a gimmick to sell records.

As an aside though women have, for the most part, been the biggest consumers of music with their wallets. They tend to go to more concerts and also will buy the music sight unseen. If you look at early Beatles concerts, especially in the States, all you'll here are girls screaming. That's why most super mainstream artists tend to aim their music toward women. Taylor Swift for instance doesn't have much appeal to the mainstream dude music listener but female mainstream listeners eat her up.

#41 Edited by MonkeyKing1969 (2905 posts) -

That does exist in Japan (Morning Musume, AKB48, etc.) and Korea and maybe even in China.

Yeah, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, China are tripping over girl groups (pop, rock, etc)...really talented groups, deapite being manufactured, too.

#43 Posted by exfate (426 posts) -

@dixavd said:

Isn't that the whole point of Girls Aloud and The Saturdays. Two girl groups here in the UK which seem more interested at aiming to be sexy for boys than fun for girls.

The thing with girl groups is that they are aimed at girls/women who want to be them - it's aspirational. Part of that is them being attractive to boys/men, at least in the examples you give (there are/have been other female artists that are more skewed to a female empowerment aspirational message than a sexual desirability one.) It is predominantly the girls/women who are buying the music, going to the shows, etc.

As for the underlying reason; It is the way it is because it happened naturally with bands like The Beatles and other artists of that era. Girls and young women went wild for it for reasons other than the music; It was a product of the era, basically. Afterwards, the record industry started chasing that audience and has continued to do so until this day. Basically, it boils down to big business mentality of find something that works and do that ad infinitum.

#44 Posted by Rafaelfc (1382 posts) -

@alexw00d said:

@rafaelfc said:

Most of my friends are incredibly resistant to the idea of listening to a female fronted band (even rock bands like Halestorm and Dead Sara, let alone a pop group).

Maybe listening to girls singing is deemed as being too in touch with their feminine side, I don't know.

Or ya know, they prefer a male voice? I know a couple of ladies who don't care much for female fronted bands either, and I'm not sure you can pick that down to sexism can you?

Nothing wrong with having preferences, but dismissing outright all female singers simply for being female is not being sexist? really?

#45 Posted by HrMagni (97 posts) -

Japan seems to be able to do it.

#46 Edited by MachoFantastico (4794 posts) -

It's down to the music in my opinion. Boy bands can make music that girls like, it's not always age specific whilst girl groups generally don't make music that suit the tastes of most boys. Boys are generally more uptight about what they listen to as well (aka, they care more about their friends opinions and so on). If anything I'd say boys enjoy some girl groups for looks more than anything, I know that sounds terrible and sexist but it's why the likes of Girls Aloud and so on exist really, yes girls like that sort of pop music but they're just as known for their attractiveness as a group than their songs.

Personally though, I don't care. You listen to what you like listening to, it's all good. Anyway who judges someone on the music they listen to is sad and pathetic.

#47 Posted by billymagnum (837 posts) -

Actually do Kittie count? They were aimed at teenage boys right?

idk...they were sort of fugly lol

#48 Edited by InsaneMatt (27 posts) -

From my own experience (myself and majority of my male friends), guys are typically more into different genres of music that 'boy bands' and 'girl bands' aren't part of. You know, the hip-hop, R'n'B, Rock, Metal, etc.
Yes, there's a couple of 'girl bands' in these genres (Destiny's Child, TLC, etc) but 'bands' of any kind aren't really a standard thing outside of the mainstream 'pop' genre.

At this point, I think it's more of a cultural thing for guys to claim not to like 'girl bands' or else be teased about it from their friends and co-workers. Many guys just don't advertise they like such songs / artists for this reason. There's also the obvious topics of many of the 'girl bands' songs that guys just can't relate to nor care about.

#49 Posted by Zeik (2551 posts) -

I think it would only work if the equivalent was like an all female rock group that had songs that generally fell in-line with other rock groups. Basically, if we're just talking about a difference of gender and not a difference of music then a large male audience could theoretically happen. Even then, there's plenty of guys (especially teenage boys) would be resistant to the idea of listening to an all female band.

It's already been said, but teenage girls like listening to boys tell them about love and relationships, but teenage boys want to hear guys sing about sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. The general perception of what guys and girls should be into defines these kinds of things.

#50 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1820 posts) -

It's likely cultural, but it seems like a lot of the songs sung by artists like One Direction, New Kids on the Block, et cetera come across as love letters. So it's a sort of wish fulfillment? Whereas many men prefer songs of long and loss from the male perspective.

Then again, I've always dug Heart's songs like Crazy on You and Barracuda, so what do I know?