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29 April 2014, 13:43 | Updated: 29 April 2014, 15:17
A new scientific study has found that classical musicians and composers are more attractive to women when they are at their most fertile.
In the study, undertaken by academics at the University of Sussex, women were asked how they would feel starting a long- or short-term relationship with the composer of various excerpts of music.
The excerpts were melodically similar but varied in musical complexity. Those who were in the most fertile phase of their menstrual cycle tended to respond more positively to the prospect of a short-term relationship with composers of more complex music.
Benjamin Charlton of the University of Sussex published the findings in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. "Women only preferred composers of more complex music as short-term sexual partners when conception risk was highest,” he wrote.
According to the study, the results suggest that music may have become an evolutionary sign of suitability for procreation, and that the participants were reacting to the complexity of the music as evidence of the composers' intelligence and creativity.
Conversely, there was no apparent correlation between the tested participants' fertility cycle and their choice of long-term partners.
The study follows previous research that found when classical music was featured on personal websites, a male user was more likely to find a female subject more attractive.