When you think of some of the famous singers and musicians out there who have dated gorgeous women in Hollywood, you can't help but wonder if those men would have had the same outcome with women if they were just an everyday guy working as an accountant. The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, and Post Malone have never and will never have trouble finding a beautiful woman to date, but they're not exactly the most good-looking men when you remove their fame and worldwide success. So what is it exactly that makes these men so attractive to supermodels and actresses? A new experimental study in Austria may have the answer.
Women Are More Attracted to Men Who Are Musicians Due to Darwin's "Sexual Selection Hypothesis," per New Study
Researchers in Austria selected 35 women and 23 men from Germany and Austria, all heterosexual, and asked them to participate in an experiment that aimed to determine whether musicality makes a person more attractive. The results were published in Frontiers in Psychology. To make it an even playing field, all the women were single and none were pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking hormonal birth control. Everyone in the experiment had a similar background in music, were around the same age, and had similar temperaments. The two conditions in this experiment included silent condition and musical priming.
In the silent condition portion of the study, each person was asked to rate the level of attractiveness in 37 random people. 20 of these faces were of the opposite sex and 17 were "used as distractors" and were not included in the final analysis. However, in the musical priming portion, the men and women listened to various styles of music for about 25 seconds at a time and this was paired with faces of the opposite sex being shown to them. The researchers told the participants that the music they were listening to was played by the person whose face was being shown at the time. This resulted in women rating the faces as "substantially more attractive" while listening to the music than when there was no music being played. Women were even more interested in dating the men whose faces they were looking at while the music was being played.
"We show that being exposed to music may increase sexual attraction in both sexes when rating faces of average attractiveness," the study read. "Moreover, the socio-cultural phenomenon of groupies searching for sexual attention of rock stars as well as the phenomenon of adolescent girls seeking platonic romantic passions with male musicians and other celebrities may be partly based on perceptual crossmodal interactions."
The researchers point to the "sexual selection hypothesis" from Darwin, which suggests that a person appears more attractive and desirable if he or she displays certain traits that can provide offspring with a talent or advantageous quality. In other words, men are more attractive if they're proficient musicians because women are subconsciously thinking about how much more gifted their children will be.
However, this study is particularly interesting because the researchers point out that "musical behavior has no apparent immediate survival value." Music is a universal language that has been around since the dawn of time in some form or capacity, so the evolution of music and artistry could be discussed within a bio-musicological framework and studied from cognitive, developmental, neural, comparative as well as evolutionary perspectives."
Manuela M. Marin is a music psychologist and researcher who told PsyPost that there is a growing amount of evidence to prove "Darwin's sexual selection hypothesis of musicality." She also pointed out that men "appear to be less influenced by music when rating female faces" compared to the women rating men's faces.
“Third, more generally, our results obtained in the laboratory are in line with many previous studies on other social topics demonstrating that music may be able to influence the way we perceive and act on others in a real-life social context,” she continued.
These results will have to be repeated with different musical styles in different cultures in order for them to see a more concrete body of evidence. In the meantime, it's safe to say that Darwin's sexual selection of hypothesis certainly does apply to humans, which explains why even the most unattractive rockstars can get the most beautiful girls.