Holding a guitar case increases the odds women will give a man their phone number

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Fingers playing guitar by Vincent LockConventional wisdom in Western society holds that women are attracted to artistic and creative types — particularly musicians. A new study provides some credence to the notion that guitarists are alluring.

Research published online May 1 in the scientific journal Psychology of Music found that women in France are more likely to give their phone number to a man carrying a guitar case than a man carrying a sports bag.

The study was conducted by Nicolas Guéguen and Sébastien Meineri of the Université de Bretagne-Sud, and Jacques Fischer-Lokou of the Université de Paris-Sud.

“Playing music may perhaps be interpreted by women as a personal trait related to intelligence, hard work levels, or physical abilities, which are important traits in evaluating the probability of men’s obtaining a higher status and success in financial prospects,” the three researchers explained.

“A further explanation could also been suggested to explain the results found in this experimental study. Participants were attracted to the man with guitar case because of the impression that acoustic guitarists are cool and fun,” they added.

For their study, Guéguen and his two colleagues recruited one 20-year-old man who was evaluated as having a high level of physical attractiveness by a group of 22 young women.

The man stood alone on a pedestrian walkway and introduced himself to 300 women who passed by.

He approached the women with a smile and said: “Hello. My name’s Antoine. I just want to say that I think you’re really pretty. I have to go to work this afternoon, and I was wondering if you would give me your phone number. I’ll phone you later and we can have a drink together someplace.”

When the man was carrying a guitar case, 31 percent of women provided him with their phone number. When the man had no bag at all, only 14 percent of women gave him their phone number. He fared worst when holding a sports bag. Only 9 percent of women gave their phone number to him during that part of the experiment.

“The behavioural results found in this experiment clearly support the assumption that a man holding a guitar is more attractive to women,” Guéguen and his two colleagues wrote.

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