Ever watch a concert, video or live music show and felt like you simply couldn’t resist the hunky musician who was hip-gyrating and lip-curling all over the place? Well, turns out that where you are in your monthly cycle could be playing a part in the kind of musician you’re tempted to throw your underwear to.
That’s the word from this 2014 study that found women who are ovulating are more attracted to musicians who create “complex” music (anything from symphonies to jazz fusion and progressive rock) over those who play simpler tunes.
But, the study goes on to point out that we don’t view these complex rhythm-makers as long-term mate material, but rather as short flings.
This may be because when we’re in the fertile phase of our cycle, we’re able to pick up on cues in complex music that indicate the musician is intelligent and in good physical condition and would, therefore, pass along good genes if we got pregnant. But, we’re also getting the signals that the same songster wouldn’t be a loyal or supportive mate for the long haul.
This music study appears to mimic research that shows how heterosexual women are attracted to men with varying levels of testosterone: Men with high testosterone (indicated by deep voices, small eyes, wide faces and/or chiseled jawlines) are perceived as more attractive during ovulation, but are preferred for short flings. That’s because high testosterone can cause men to be less faithful and sensitive, which we’re able to instinctively pick up on. Meanwhile, men with lower testosterone (indicated by higher voices, bigger eyes, narrower faces and softer jawlines) are perceived as more attractive during non-fertile phases and are preferred for long-term romances since their lower hormones make them seem more faithful and cooperative.
So, could it be that high-testosterone musicians are subconsciously channeling their testosterone status into song by using more complicated sounds as a way to attract more short-term mates? Male birds appear to do this very thing, using their own warbling to indicate what kind of mate material they’d be when trying to find romance.
And, if you think about it, many musicians who compose complex songs seem to be pretty high-testosterone. Personally, when I think of complex music-makers, I imagine Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who and all those other hunky great rock ‘n rollers who had legions of groupies following them where ever they went. They were certainly great for a fling, but I probably wouldn’t trust them past the second date to be faithful.
And when I think of simple music, I imagine gentle folk singers like John Denver and Jim Croce, who seem like sensitive souls who’d ask to marry you on the second date and want to settle down right away with about a dozen kids.
You probably have far more modern musicians in mind when reading this. But, whoever you’re thinking of, I bet you’ll consider where you are in your cycle the next time you’re listening to them on your headphones while drawing hearts around their names on your notebook….