Young People's Musical Taste: Relationship With Gender and Gender-Related Traits1


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    Completion of this paper was assisted by study leave that was granted by the University of Leicester. The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Catherine Metianu in data collection for the study.

Ann M. Colley, School of Psychology, University of Leicester, Henry Wellcome Building, Lancaster Road, Leicester LE1 9HN, UK. E-mail:


The present study extended previous findings of gender differences in young people's musical taste by examining whether identification with gender-related expressive or instrumental traits contributes to these differences, and by examining the underlying structure of musical taste by gender. The results confirmed greater liking of heavier contemporary music among men and of chart pop music among women. Gender was a stronger predictor of taste for gender-stereotyped styles than identification with gender-related traits. The structure of style preferences in dimensions relating to mainstream styles varied by gender. Men and participants with higher scores on expressiveness gave higher ratings to more styles. The findings are discussed in relation to gender differences in the use of music and gender-role socialization.