Fertile women find classical musicians more attractive, study finds

Research showed that women expressed a preference for composers of "complex music" when they were ovulating

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The Independent Online

Classical musicians are an aphrodisiac for women when they are at their most fertile, according to a new study.

During the peak conception time of their menstrual cycle women are attracted to men who are “able to create more complex music”, according to the research published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Charles Darwin expounded the idea that since human music has no clear survival benefits it has only lasted through the stages of evolution as a means of attracting a sexual partner.

Experiments were conducted by biologist Benjamin Charlton to find out whether women had a stronger preference for either more complex or simpler types of music at different points during their menstrual cycle.

When female participants were played extracts of music it was found that, although they generally preferred more complex tunes, their choices were not affected by the time of the month.

However, when the women were asked to assess their sexual interest in the man who had composed the different types of music, those who were ovulating preferred composers of more complex music as potential short-term sexual partners.

There was no link between the menstrual cycle and women’s choice of long-term partners, according to the study.

The abstract for the study stated: “These results suggest that women may acquire genetic benefits for offspring by selecting musicians able to create more complex music as sexual partners, and provide compelling support for Darwin's assertion ‘that musical notes and rhythm were first acquired by the male or female progenitors of mankind for the sake of charming the opposite sex’.”