There's something about music and tattoos
Representational photograph: @Beckham/Facebook
A new study has revealed that women rate photographs of male faces more attractive and are more likely to date the men pictured when they have previously heard music.
Moreover, highly arousing music led to the largest effect on sexual attraction.
'There are currently few empirical findings that support Darwin's theory on the origin of music. We wanted to use a new experimental paradigm to investigate the role of music in choosing a mating partner,' said Manuela Marin, the leader of the study and former associate of the Institute for Basic Psychological Research and Research Methods at the University of Vienna.
In the current study, Marin and her colleagues investigated the impact of musical exposure on the subjective evaluations of opposite-sex faces.
'Facial attractiveness is one of the most important physical characteristics that can influence the choice of a partner. We wanted to find out how music can alter the perception of this feature,' said Helmut Leder from the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Vienna.
Marin said, 'There is some evidence in the psychological literature that so-called arousal transfer effects can occur if two stimuli are processed consecutively. The processing of the first stimulus produces internal arousal... which is then attributed to the second stimulus. This mostly unconscious mechanism can then influence our actions, in this case, the choice of a partner.'
In their experiment, the scientists presented heterosexual participants with instrumental musical excerpts that varied in their emotional content, followed by a photograph of a face from the opposite sex with a neutral facial expression. The face was assessed in terms of its attractiveness on a scale.
In addition, participants were asked to rate whether they would date the person pictured.
In the control condition only faces without music were presented.
The results showed that female participants rated the male faces as more attractive and were more willing to date the men pictured when previously exposed to music. Overall, highly stimulating and complex music led to the greatest effect compared to the control condition.
This effect was not present among male participants.
The results are promising and open up new possibilities to investigate the role of music in partner selection in connection with aspects of physical attractiveness.
'Our goal is to replicate these results in a larger sample and to modify some aspects of the experiment. For example, we would like to clarify whether musical abilities and creativity can compensate partially for deficiencies in terms of physical appearance and fitness,' said Bruno Gingras from the Institute of Psychology at the University of Innsbruck.
The study was published in journal PLOS ONE.
Meanwhile, a new survey, carried out by dating app Type, found that 64 per cent of women who stated a preference were looking to date men who have had some kind of permanent ink body art, reports The Independent.
They viewed 'some' tattoos as an added attraction in a love interest.
Benno Spencer, Type's CEO said, 'We've been surprised just how strong the trends are when it comes to tattoos. So many of our users are looking for someone with a bit of body art -- it's clearly a turn on.'
Previous research has also found that women tend to look more favourably on men with tattoos, associating them with 'good health, masculinity, aggressiveness and dominance,' according to one study.
This also holds true for those who are looking for a same-sex partner.
Type's recent survey also found that only 39 per cent of men were attracted to women with tattoos.