How Does Music Influence Sex and Human Behavior?

A deeper impact than we thought

 
Those who enjoy jazz have 34% more sex than those who like pop (the sax really seems to work) and the least sexually active are those listening classical music.

Some music genres boost intellectual and affective development in children. Research showed that children aged 3-4 learning to play an instrument can improve mental skills this way, as at this age connections between brain cells form very rapidly, and exercising just for a few minutes daily improves on the long run the cognitive abilities in children. Children playing the piano scored 35% better in intelligence tests than children going to computer classes or not taking any class at all. Still, heavy metal makes them more crabbed and reluctant.

Music influences neurological-motor disorders. In some cases, incapacitated Parkinson patients can move only when remembering songs from their youth. Specialists say that we get accustomed to rhythm from the womb and our reaction to the rhythm might be due to the heartbeat or breathing. That's why most people prefer a musical tempo of 70-100 beats per minute, exactly the heartbeat rhythm of a healthy human adult.

Music combinations of harmonies and disharmonies were found to induce a fluctuation of the blood pressure, sometimes imperceptible, and this influences our feelings. That's why delicate music calms us down, while disharmonic music turns us tensed. But if music is based too much on harmony, it can be boring for the brain. The length and arrangement of the pauses in a melody makes us perceive it joyful or sad.

If the left hemisphere of the brain is linked to language, music is believed to be placed in the right hemisphere, regarded to be the center of the feelings. That's why music triggers spontaneous reactions. Moreover, our feelings and affective reactions are stronger linked to auditive than visual stimuli (a wounded person does not trigger so rapidly our reaction if he/she is quiet, but this will be instant if he/she is moaning...).

How we react to a kind of music is influenced by our mood and previous experiences. If you associate a song with a sad event in your life, you may get sad or even start crying when hearing it, while others may be pleased by it. In the end, the way we react to the sound of a saxophone or a trumpet is very personal.

In most cases, we associate an advertisement with its song. Their words are often non-senses, but the right melody in an advertisement can get straight to the point. In fact, most ads are meant to trigger in you an affective reaction, not a logical one.

No need to mention what messages music can trigger in audience. Men watching rock or rap music videoclips including texts using rough violence and direct sexual messages presented increased levels of testosterone, aggressiveness and misogynistic reactions. Teenagers listening these two styles were found to have a more agitated life, aggressive and destructive behavior. Rap music has by far a stronger effect because its lyrics are more suggestive. And even if the words cannot be easily understood (because of the high volume), the repetitive melodic line eventually gets the job done.

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By Stefan Anitei    13 Dec 2007, 19:06 GMT