Art Is More About Work Than Sex

Women are as creative as men but produce less art. Why? The sexual exploits of male rock stars is legendary and their sexual magnetism draws an endless supply of enthusiastic female partners. So it is not too hard to believe that men would enter creative fields as a way of boosting their sex appeal. But is art little more than a masculine display?

Problems with the Mating Display Perspective
Male creativity in many creative fields – from science to poetry – peaks in the twenties coinciding with peak testosterone production. Yet, there are many problems with the view that science and art function as a display designed to attract females of the species. This notion is certainly charming and intuitively appealing to anyone who observes the beautiful displays of bird plumage, the courtship dance of the mannikin bird, or the artfully decorated constructions that bower birds use to attract a mate.

Yet, there are many fairly obvious problems. In some creative fields, such as writing novels, the best, and most prolific, work often occurs in the forties decades after the peak in testosterone.
The biology of creativity is also murky. High-testosterone men are not particularly creative and personality research sheds light on this phenomenon. Unusually creative men – and women – score high on androgyny, combining stereotypically masculine and stereotypically feminine traits.

Another glaring problem with the mating display take on creativity is that it is a theory of male creativity rather than female creativity, especially given that women’s testosterone levels rise with age but there is little evidence of an age trend in female creative expression.

Women’s faces, and bodies, were more extensively modified by sexual selection than male bodies were, going against the pattern for birds where it is the males who are more ornate. —> Read More