They polled 122 undergraduates, 62 percent of whom were female, asking them to rate the sexual attractiveness of four individuals according to their (fake) websites. Result? Men found women sexier if their site played classical music. Women liked men to play heavy metal.
It’s so hard to figure out women…
Here’s the abstract:
Computer-mediated communication environments such as personal websites enable users to use multimedia to construct their self-identities. How these multimedia elements in the cyberspace such as audios influence interpersonal impressions is somewhat unclear in the literature. Based on Brunswik’s lens model, this research aims to examine the impact of audio information on impression formation by testing: (a) how the background music of a personal website affects perceived attractiveness of the website owner and how gender moderates this effect, and (b) whether such an effect is mediated by perceived personality. A 2 × 2 full factorial experiment was conducted where participants (N = 122) were randomly assigned to view a cross-gender personal website with either classical or heavy metal background music. The experimental findings suggested a significant mediated moderation effect: gender moderated the relationship between music type and perceived attractiveness of the website owner such that male participants perceived the female website owner with classical background music as more attractive while female participants considered the male website owner with heavy metal background music to be more attractive, and this moderation was mediated by the website owner’s perceived agreeableness.
And here’s a fuller report.