Is Music Really Just About Sex? Discuss.

Everyone from Charles Darwin to modern neurologists will tell you that humans evolved the ability to make music so they can get laid.

Starting about 40,000 years go, some caveman picked up a rock, hammered out some phat beats on a log and not only invented music but also groupie culture.  And it worked the other way, of course.  Some cavedude found himself seduced by the proto-singing of a hot mama down the gully and was soon presenting her with nicely arranged bouquets of freshly dead warthog feet.

Let’s fast-forward to today.  How can someone as ugly as Mick Jagger keep attracting the hottest women on the planet?  With the music he makes.  (I have this theory that part of the reason rock’n’roll evolved was so ugly dudes could have sex, too.)

And we don’t even have to look at humans.  Why to birds sing?  To attract mates (read: to get laid.)

Case closed, right?  Music is all about sex.

Well, maybe not.  From the BBC:

Now evidence appearing to support Darwin’s hypothesis has come in the form of a study by psychologist Benjamin Charlton of the University of Sussex in Brighton, England. In his experiment, he found that women’s sexual preferences for composers changed during their menstrual cycle, and that they preferred composers of more complex music – who might be construed as more capable mates – at the most fertile point of the cycle.The study’s controversial claims have already proved irresistible toheadline writers. But how credible is the notion that making music is all about sex?

Read on.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.