May 26, 2022

It becomes clear that some people will get bored while listening to classical music while they are still in the womb: But how?

Could our cultural tastes and interests be related to an innate genetic predisposition? Could it be obvious when we are still in the womb that we will get bored while listening to classical music or that we will run away from rock music concerts? A recent study provides compelling answers to this question.

We know that our individual interests and cultural tastes develop and are shaped over time, especially with the influence of our social environment. At the same time, it is obvious that what we ‘see’ from our family also has an effect in this direction.

What about enjoying classical music or taking an interest in visual arts; Could it be our genes to enjoy watching an opera or having fun at a rock concert? Before we were even born, the answer is yes, according to a possible recent study on this topic! Moreover, the effect is much more than you can imagine.

The research, led by Professor Mads Meier Jæger and associate professor Stine Møllegaard from the sociology department at the University of Copenhagen, sought to answer the question of how our cultural tastes and interests are shaped . A study of 1,200 twins , of which 466 are identical and 734 are fraternal, gave interesting answers to this question. Choosing genetically identical identical twins and fraternal twins sharing 50% of their genes in this study provided the necessary conditions for genetic effects to be observed.

A survey was conducted with identical and fraternal twins to map their interest in 12 different cultural activities . The results revealed that different cultural tastes are affected by genes, family and social environment at different rates.Accordingly, our interest in ‘high culture’ activities such as classical music, opera and ballet is inherited from our genes with a rate of 54% . Family ‘environmental impact’ is 16% for these events. The impact of our social environment is 30%.The effect of the social environment is greater for the interest in popular culture and individual tastes in this direction; 29% genes , 23% family-related environmental effects, 48% social environment.The last group included in the study is the group we can call ‘subculture’. The situation regarding the interest in such subcultural elements is as follows; 30% genes , 33% family-related environmental effects, 37% social environment.

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