The singer concedes the Umbrella hitmaker is a "brilliant pop star", but he worries that her impressionable young fans will grow up with a negative perception of female sexuality.
He tells Yahoo's OMG: "I don't think Rihanna is a massively great role model for women, her lyrics aren't empowering. She's a brilliant pop star and recording artist but her lyrics are not empowering - young girls have to listen to those lyrics...
"I saw Rihanna kissing a girl in one of her videos (S&M) and I thought, 'Who is this for? If you're going to do it just go the whole way like Madonna did and have sex on a bed'. Women in a patriarchal society should be empowering and owning their bodies; I don't think Rihanna is. I feel quite strongly about this."
However, Young is full of praise for other female singers such as Lady Gaga and Adele, adding, "I'm more interested in female pop stars that are empowering for women as a feminist myself. You can sexualize yourself in an empowering way. Adele doesn't sexualize herself yet she's very open about her heartache.
"Image-wise Lady Gaga is empowering. I'm more interested in women like Annie Lennox or Grace Jones - people who have challenged the female form, who have owned it and brought it forward."