There have been countless studies conducted on why humans invest so much of their time and energy into music.
For example, Charles Darwin included the biological and social importance of music in his theory of evolution. He believed that music has developed through ‘sexual selection’, says Science Today. ‘The motor and cognitive abilities necessary for making music serve as an indicator for good genes and thus increase the reproductive success.’
Does this explain why someone immediately becomes sexier when they have a guitar in their hands? I spent most of my teens and early 20s in the front row at concerts, making eyes at the musicians on stage.
Manuela Marin of the University of Vienna and her team conducted a study in which women were asked to rate the attractiveness of men in photographs. Before being shown the photos in which each man had a neutral expression, the scientists had played pieces of instrumental music, which all varied in style and emotional content.
The study found that women were more likely to date the photographed men when they’d previously heard music.
Not only that, but the type of music they were exposed to (more ‘arousing’ music – whatever that means) led to the largest effect on their sexual attraction to the men. ‘Facial attractiveness is one of the most important physical characteristics that can influence the choice of a partner,’ explains Professor of Psychology Helmut Leder. ‘We wanted to find out how music can alter the perception of this feature.’
The team behind the experiment believes that the success of this study will allow them to explore the role of music and attractiveness like never before. ‘For example, we would like to clarify whether musical abilities and creativity can compensate partially for deficiencies in terms of physical appearance and fitness,’ says Bruno Gingras of the study.
So he skipped leg day, but can he play the clarinet?
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