Evolutionary hit parade
A few hit songs are revolutionary, but most are evolutionary. Of the top 10 songs from three 2009 Billboard charts, more than 90 percent mention reproductive themes central to human evolution, say Dawn Hobbs and psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. of the University at Albany in New York. Reproductive messages include references to courtship, sexual intercourse, promiscuity, rejection, reputation and fidelity, Hobbs and Gallup report online September 12 in Evolutionary Psychology. These themes also appear frequently in operatic and popular songs extending back 400 years, they find. People prefer reproductively oriented songs by virtue of the mind’s evolved interests in procreation, intimate relationships and status, the scientists propose. —Bruce Bower
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