Big new study finds "sex differences in music perception are negligible"

This is a fascinating finding for all humans, not just amusics. For a start, the scale of the study is impressive: "a test of music processing ability in 360,009 men and 194,291 women from 208 countries." And the findings favored the hypothesis of "no sex difference in general musical ability" (with a Bayes Factor of 0.6 for the statistically inclined). 

As the authors put it: "These results suggest that it is unlikely that music evolved in the context of sexual selection." In other words, our musical ability did not evolve to enhance our appeal to the opposite sex, although this "is in contrast to music-related traits in non-human animals" and in contrast to some "other non-musical human traits." 

The bottom line, based on this huge sample, is that musical ability offers, in terms of selection "no consistent advantage for either sex." And somehow, as an amusic, I find that surprisingly reassuring. It suggests that my inability to sing my words of courtship, rather than "simply" write them, did not impair my ability to attract partners.

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