Looking for a diversion from its ongoing, fruitless research into why hungry people are attracted to food, science has at last tackled the reasons why women find themselves attracted to rock stars—or, at least, any person who makes music skillfully. In a study conducted by the University of Sussex, a group of researchers gathered 1,500 women of the average age of 28 who were not “breastfeeding, pregnant, or using hormonal contraception,” both because this is when they are at their “most fertile,” and because science has determined that those other women be crazy.
These women were then asked whether they would prefer to have sex with the composer of a simple melody, or the composer of a more complex work. Since they were already answering bizarre, broad hypotheticals, they also asked if they’d want that composer as a short-term sexual fling or long-term partner. While it might have helped them differentiate between “simple” and “complex” composers, recordings of, say, Terence Trent D’Arby and Sergei Prokofiev were not used, as this would have obviously skewed the results. Everyone wants to fuck to “Wishing Well.”
Still, even without specific examples, the results were about what you’d expect: The women wanted the more skilled, complex composers, and they wanted them for short-term, freaky sex—just like the ladies wanted from Prokofiev, or any other musician with demonstrable mastery over their craft. The study’s researchers say they believe their findings provides scientific support for the longtime theory, floated by Charles Darwin, that dudes only learn how to play music to get girls.
“The ability to create complex music could be indicative of advanced cognitive abilities,” said study author Dr. Benjamin Charlton. “Consequently, women may acquire genetic benefits for offspring by selecting musicians able to create more complex music as sexual partners.” And ideally, they could acquire those genetic benefits by about 2 a.m., then get home to tell their friends about it.
It’s hoped that other researchers could soon mount a study to determine why women are attracted to men who are rich, talented, and famous, and who don’t play by anyone else’s rules but their own.