Two New Studies Suggest Women Are More Attracted to a Man Holding a Guitar

There's a certain Je ne sais quoi about a guy holding a guitar.

Or so says a new study from France, which suggests that a man is perceived as more attractive to women if there’s a guitar in his hands. The study's results are similar to the findings of a 2012 study from Israel.

France, Israel, Hoboken or Bumpass, Virginia — it doesn't matter where the guitarist is from. The point is, male guitarists are generally viewed as promising mating material (as if we didn't all know that already)!

The French study, which was conducted by researchers at the Universite de Bretagne-Sud (University of South Brittany) and published in Psychology of Music, was centered around a 20-year-old man “previously evaluated as having a high level of physical attractiveness.”

One day, this fellow approached 300 women ranging in age from 18 to about 22. He said hello and added, “I think you’re really pretty” (which sounds very nice in French) and asked for their phone numbers. During a third of the encounters, he was carrying a guitar case. For another third, he was holding a sports bag. For the last third, he wasn't holding anything.

When he was carrying the guitar case, 31 percent of the ladies gave him their phone number. Only 14 percent gave him their number when he was empty-handed, and that figure dropped to an unhealthy 9 percent when he was holding the sports bag.

In the Israeli study, which was published in Letters on Evolutionary Behavioral Science, 100 single female students at two universities received a Facebook profile of a single guy accompanied by a "friend" request and the words, “Hey, what’s up? I like your photo.”

Half of the women saw a photo of the man playing a guitar. The other half saw a photo of the man looking like a "regular" person, as in, devoid of a guitar.

“While five of the 50 women responded positively to the friendship request that was sent by the profile without a guitar, 14 of the 50 women (28 percent) responded positively to the friendship request that was sent by the profile with the guitar,” wrote the research team.

Once again, the guitarist got more chicks! Bottom line, grab your guitar case and your little black book and hit the streets of Paris! Or Bumpass, Virginia!

Or, in the words of the French study: "This experiment tested the assumption that music plays a role in sexual selection. Results showed that holding a guitar case was associated with greater compliance to the request, thus suggesting that musical practice is associated with sexual selection."

Of course, you can just walk around with a guitar case and be a phoney, or you can actually take guitar lessons or buy a quality instruction book. We suggest Guitar World Presents the Best Instruction Book Ever, which is available at the Guitar World Online Store and iBooks!

Special thanks to Paul Riario for posing for these two breathtaking photos.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.