Testosterone is known as the male hormone, although females do have it in small quantities. It is associated with confidence, competitiveness and a drive to succeed.
These are the sort of qualities you would expect to see in world leaders and the best orchestra conductors.
But new research suggests that those who enjoy listening to this music may not be quite so lucky in the testosterone department.
Japanese researchers Hirokazu Doi and Kazuyuki Shinohara used 37 Japanese men and 39 women to find out more. The average overall age of the group was early 20’s.
Before the test the testosterone levels of all participants were measured via saliva.
They were then played 25 musical extracts; each lasted approximately 15 seconds. They were asked to rate each sample on a scale as to whether they liked it a lot or not at all.
The music covered the entire range; from mellow to intense, contemporary, unpretentious and even sophisticated musical excerpts.
Men with higher levels of testosterone had no appreciation for the sophisticated music; this translates as classical and jazz music.
Interestingly there was no significant finding in regard to women’s testosterone levels and their musical preferences.
Understanding the Results
This is just a small sample of people so it is hard to confirm the effect of testosterone levels on your music tastes.
It is also not yet possible to understand why this is the case.
It has been suggested that men with higher levels of testosterone tend to be dominant and have less regard for the rules.
This can be likened to being rebellious which is often displayed by liking rebellious music. Urban music such as hard rock and hard techno falls neatly into this category.
It is also worth noting that higher levels of testosterone are associated with people who demand instant results. This is not something that you get from classical music which takes its time to reach a crescendo.
However, you should also be aware of the possibility that men with lower levels of testosterone are more likely to be compliant.
This can influence their answers to music questions as they may wish to simply conform or not ‘rock the boat’.
Of course, the participants in this study were also younger and ready to face the hassles of working life; the effect of testosterone on them will be different to how it affects someone in their 40’s, 50’s or older.
It is worth noting that a study in 2016 actually found that men with high levels of testosterone who are successful actually become more giving and mellow as they age.
Despite high testosterone levels it is likely at this stage in their life that they will gain an appreciation for slower music and the finer things in life.
Summing It Up
More research is needed into this interesting take on testosterone and music.
It looks like your taste in music can be influenced by your testosterone levels. However it is also possible that it is simply a result of age and environment. Only more research will really tell the full story.
Negative correlation between salivary testosterone concentration and preference for sophisticated music in males.