Hip-hop and dance music fans are more likely to experiment with drugs, have sex and blow off their social obligations, according to research by University of Leicester psychologist Dr Adrian North.
North’s research shows that a person’s musical preference tells a great deal about their lifestyle and interests. When it comes to relationships, beliefs and breaking the law, fans of different musical styles gave very different responses.
Hip hop and dance music fans were likely to have tried a range of illegal drugs. However, about a quarter of the classical music and opera fans admitted to having tried cannabis, and 12.3% of opera fans had tried magic mushrooms. Think about that next time you’re sitting through Die Zauberflöte.
When it comes to sex, hip-hop and dance music fans appear to be getting busy. 37.5% of hip-hop fans and 28.7% of dance music fans had had more than one sexual partner in the past five years, compared with 1.5% of country fans.
Hip-hop and dance fans (ie., young people) were also the least likely to be religious, least likely to recycle, least likely to favor the development of alternative energy sources and least likely to favour raising taxes.
Unfortunately, when these hip-hop and dance music fans aren’t busy having sex, they are likely to be committing criminal acts. 56.9% of dance music fans and 53.1% of hip hop fans admitted to having committed a criminal act, compared to just 17.9% of fans of musicals.
On questions concerning money, education, employment and health, fans were separated along the lines of socio-economic status. Fans of classical music and opera had lifestyles indicative of the middle and upper classes. They had an average annual income of £35,000 before tax, whereas dance music fans earned only £23,311. Classical music and opera fans also paid a much higher proportion of their credit card bills each month than fans of dance music (75% and 49% respectively).
They were also more likely to have been educated to a higher level. 6.8% of opera fans had a PhD, compared to none of the chart pop fans. When it comes to eating, fans of classical music, opera and jazz tended to spend rather more money on food and preferred to drink wine to a greater extent than fans of other musical styles.
Dr North added: “Surprisingly, there have been very few studies on how people’s age, sex, socioeconomic status, and personality relate to the music they enjoy listening to. Moreover, this limited amount of research has focussed almost exclusively on North America. This is despite the fact that music is enjoyed by people all around the world and, in addition, there are numerous stereotypes about the types of people who listen to certain musical styles that may or may not be true (e.g. goths are depressed, classical music fans are upper-class, jazz fans are like the presenter of The Fast Show’s ‘Jazz Club’ etc.).
Dr. North is planning to expand his research using the Internet.
“Musicaltastetest.com aims to recruit over 10,000 people to paint the first worldwide picture of who likes what,” said North.
North looking for 10,000 people from all over the world to take part in an online survey at www.musicaltastetest.com, stating their preference from over 50 musical styles and completing a questionnaire.
The survey, funded by the British Academy, will help Dr North and his team determine to what extent people’s musical tastes can be predicted on the basis of basic demographic information, such as age, sex and earnings.
Dr North said, “Although we know a lot about musical preference, musicaltastetest.com is the largest ever academic survey of who likes what. Nothing on this scale has ever been attempted before.”