BY ANDREW DANIELS
Why Heavy Metal Chicks Love Sex
You know how we know if you’re a prude? Because you listen to Coldplay.
According to a survey from Tastebuds.fm, a dating site that connects you with people who share your musical preferences, fans of the British soft-rock band best known for hits like “Yellow” and “Viva La Vida” are least likely to have sex on the first date.
The site conducted a simple survey that asked users how far they would take things on the first date, and gave them three options to choose from: “I’d only meet up for a chat,” “Perhaps a kiss,” and “I’d go all the way if the mood was right.” After answers were matched with the favorite music listed on users’ profiles, Tastebuds determined that Coldplay fans don’t put out, while Nirvana fans are the easiest of them all.
Here’s a closer look at the results:
Least Likely to Have Sex on the First Date
- Lady Gaga
- Katy Perry
- Kings of Leon
- Linkin Park
- Kanye West
Even though the survey was unscientific, its results do make some sense. Listeners respond to the dominant messages in music and accept them as normal, which indicates that they’re more likely to partake in such behaviors, says Sena Agbo-Quaye, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Buckinghamshire New University in the U.K. “So if you’re comparing first-date behaviors between fans of Coldplay to fans of Nirvana, one should look at the dominant themes in their lyrics and videos.”
It may be as simple as comparing Kurt Cobain, Nirvana’s late lead singer, and Chris Martin, the front man of Coldplay, to see where the sex will be found, Agbo-Quaye says. “Cobain lived the rock and roll lifestyle, whereas Martin plays the conscious sweet boy role. They are normalizing very different behaviors. So one possible explanation is that [Nirvana fans] may be more tolerant to first date exploration than [Coldplay fans.]”
But what leads one person to Coldplay and the other to Nirvana? In a 2003 study from the University of Texas-Austin, researchers examined the relationship between personality and music preferences. After surveying more than 3,500 college students’ music tastes, the researchers split all genres up into four basic categories and found a clear personality trait for each one:
* Intense, rebellious music (like rock and punk): More open
* Reflective, complex music (like jazz): Politically liberal
* Rhythmic music (hip-hop): Extroverted
* Regular, conventional pop music: Conscientious and politically conservative
A 2007 study in Psychology of Music corroborates those results: Researchers in England found that fans of “problem” music styles were relatively liberal compared to fans of more conservative music on factors like number of sexual partners, religious beliefs, and drug use.
“Of course no single preference is 100 percent diagnostic for anything, but preferences do reflect attitudes and values. And people use music as a shorthand way to broadcast them,” says Sam Gosling, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
In fact, music is so useful in conveying information that according to Gosling’s 2006 study in Psychological Science, it’s the topic that’s talked about more than any other when people are trying to get to know each other, beating out books, clothing, and sports.
Which leads us to this question: If you met a girl with completely opposite tastes—she likes Nickelback, while you’re a fan of … good music—how long could you date her before breaking it off? “It’s not so much the music that may be a problem in the relationship, but the fact that music is symptomatic of much deeper values, attitudes, and dispositions, which would then be a problem,” Gosling says.
But don’t call it quits just yet. “There are many happy couples who have vastly different cultural backgrounds, like different religions and ethnicities, so similarity in music preference can’t be the only basis of a successful relationship,” says Agbo-Quaye.
1) North AC and Hargreaves DJ (2007) Lifestyle correlates of musical preference: 1. Relationships, living arrangements, beliefs, and crime Psychology of Music January 35 (1) 58-87
Several studies indicate that musical preferences provide a means of discriminating between social groups, and suggest indirectly that musical preferences should correlate with a variety of different lifestyle choices. In this study, 2532 participants responded to a questionnaire asking them to state their musical preference and also to provide data on various aspects of their lifestyle (namely interpersonal relationships, living arrangements, moral and political beliefs, and criminal behaviour). Numerous associations existed between musical preference and these aspects of participants' lifestyle. The nature of these associations was generally consistent with previous research concerning a putative liberal–conservative divide between differing groups of fans. It is concluded that participants' musical preferences provided a meaningful way of distinguishing different lifestyle choices.
2)Rentfrow PJ and Gosling SD (2006) Message in a Ballad The Role of Music Preferences in Interpersonal Perception. Psychological Science 17 (3) 236-242
How is information about people conveyed through their preferences for certain kinds of music? Here we show that individuals use their music preferences to communicate information about their personalities to observers, and that observers can use such information to form impressions of others. Study 1 revealed that music was the most common topic in conversations among strangers given the task of getting acquainted. Why was talk about music so prevalent? Study 2 showed that (a) observers were able to form consensual and accurate impressions on the basis of targets' music preferences, (b) music preferences were related to targets' personalities, (c) the specific cues that observers used tended to be the ones that were valid, and (d) music preferences reveal information that is different from that obtained in other zero-acquaintance contexts. Discussion focuses on the mechanisms that may underlie the links between personality and music preferences.