Nov 232011



Relationship Between Artistic Success And Mating Success





Your date lets it slip: “I’m an artist.” Do these words scream “code red” or “take me to bed”?

According to some scientists, even human beings are just trying to make it in the animal kingdom, and everything we do can be traced back to basic survival. Man hunt, man fight, man eat, man… paint? In 2000,Geoffrey Miller suggested that man’s creative pursuits were not survival mechanisms but courtship mechanisms, aimed to maximize mating possibilities. In other words, our minds operate like peacocks’ tails. The recent study, Status and Mating Success Amongst Visual Artists, examines artists and their mating habits, asking whether or not being a more successful artist will make you more successful in bed.

Helen Clegg, Daniel Nettle and Dorothy Miell conducted a survey for the journal ‘Frontiers in Psychology’, using a sample of 236 artists, 85 men and 151 women, from 18 to 78 years old. They gauged these artists’ success through a variety of factors including self-reported artistic success, time spent on art, the number of days artists have displayed their work over the past 5 years, minimum cost of art, maximum cost of art, percentage of income from art, importance of art in life, importance of public recognition, and importance of recognition from other artists.









The number of sexual partners that the artists being questioned had ranged from 0 to 250, with an average of 10.67. Yet not all sexual encounters are created equal; thus the study balanced out one-night stands and long-term relationships with a mating strategy index.

“Each one night stand gained one point, each relationship up to a month two points, and so on up to each relationship 10 years or over which gained eight points. The total number of points for each person was added up and divided by their total number of relationships. Thus, the lower their score the more short-term their mating strategy.”

The study conducted multiple regression separately for males and females taking all of these factors into account. To make a long story short(er), males displayed a correlation between making sweet art and making sweet love. Females, meanwhile, showed no correlation. Maybe humans are more like peacocks than we thought…

What do these results mean? Can artistic success be quantified? Are women really after status and not creativity? Are men just after whatever they can get? Who has possibly slept with 250 people? What do you think?

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