Men Who Like Jazz Have Less Testosterone Than Those Who Like Rock

Testosterone levels could affect your musical choice, new research finds, and those with more testosterone in their bodies may be more into rock music. The research suggests that your biology has a bigger influence over your personality than you might be comfortable admitting and is the first evidence that musical preference has a biological root.

The study, published online in Personality and Individual Differences, found a correlation between personality type and musical choice, and hypothesized that hormone levels could be the ultimate cause of this connection. For the study, the team looked at 37 males and 39 females and had each listen to 25 pieces of music and then rate them on a scale of one to 19 for how much they enjoyed the song. In addition, the volunteers had their testosterone levels measured through a saliva sample, New Scientist reported.

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The study failed to find a link between testosterone levels and musical taste in female volunteers, but for the males a clear link soon emerged. Higher testosterone levels in males was linked with a preference for a type of music that the researchers labeled as “unsophisticated.” This category encompassed genres such as both soft and heavy rock. Individuals with lower testosterone levels were more inclined to enjoy what the researchers labeled as “sophisticated music,” a genre that included both classical and jazz.

01_19_rock Rock music was be the musical choice of men with higher levels of testosterone. ARIF SYARIFUDIN/AFP/Getty Images

Hormones are chemical messengers in the body that perform a number of functions ranging from growth and development to food metabolism, News Medical reported. Testosterone is a sexual function and reproductive hormone that exists in both men and women but in higher amounts in men. The researchers believe that the reason they were not able to find a connection between testosterone and musical preference in women was because the sample group was too small.

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This is not the first time that science has found a link between musical choice and personality type. Pascal Wallisch, a psychologist at New York University, is currently working on developing a test that can help identify individuals with psychopathic personality characteristics using only their musical preference. However, according to Wallisch, it’s not so much about a link between musical genres preferences and personality types, but more likely connected to certain personalities' preferences for specific aspects of the song, such as beat and tempo, Newsweek previously reported.

Overall, research linking personality and musical choices is not yet substantial enough to offer definitive answers. Still, lead study author Hirokazu Doi, of Nagasaki University, Japan, explained that if testosterone does influence musical choice, this could mean other hormone levels could influence other aspects of our personality, such as our interest in art and music, New Scientist reported.

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