Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What happens when we try to manipulate our voice to attract a mate? Her voice is hot, his is not

Date:
April 11, 2014
Source:
Albright College
Summary:
Trying to sound sexier? Sorry, guys, it seems you just don't have what it takes. New research suggests that men cannot intentionally make their voices sound more sexy or attractive, while women have little trouble. And true to the stereotype, women will lower their pitch and increase their hoarseness to dial up the allure.

Trying to sound sexier? Sorry, guys, it seems you just don't have what it takes. New research suggests that men cannot intentionally make their voices sound more sexy or attractive, while women have little trouble.
Credit: Photographee.eu / Fotolia

Trying to sound sexier? Sorry, guys, it seems you just don't have what it takes.

New research suggests that men cannot intentionally make their voices sound more sexy or attractive, while women have little trouble. And true to the stereotype, women will lower their pitch and increase their hoarseness to dial up the allure.

"This ability may be due to culture and cuts across cultures and time," says Susan Hughes, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Albright College. "There is a stereotype of what is a sexual voice in our culture -- a low, breathy voice."

The findings appear in the article "The Perception and Parameters of Intentional Voice Manipulation" appearing in this month's Journal of Nonverbal Behavior. The research examines the patterns that emerge when men and women intentionally modify their voices to project four traits related to mate selection and competition -- sexiness, dominance, intelligence and confidence -- and how others perceive these manipulations.

For the study, 40 participants (20 men, 20 women) provided intentionally manipulated voice samples for the desired traits, plus a normal speech sample. Each sample consisted of participants counting from one to 10. Another 40 people assessed the degree to which each sample effectively projected the given trait.

The researchers found that women could make their voices sound more attractive, but men could not. "In fact, although not significantly, it got a bit worse when men tried to sound sexy," says Hughes.

The difference may be rooted in mate selection, the study says. Women know that men place greater emphasis on attractiveness when choosing a partner, and that voice attractiveness can predict physical attractiveness. Thus, it is beneficial for women to sound sexier to enhance their value to potential mates and to stave off competition from rival females.

Spectrogram analyses of the samples revealed that both sexes slowed their speech to sound sexy/attractive, while women also lowered their pitch and increased their hoarseness. Ironically, men prefer higher-pitch females, but a woman will signal her interest in a man by intentionally dropping her voice, said Hughes.

The study found that both sexes can manipulate their voices to sound more intelligent. Women, however, could not sound more confident. Men could, but only when judged by female raters. This may be true, according to the study, because it's important for men to project confidence to women (and for women to perceive it), since confidence can indicate financial and personal success, which women value in a potential partner. Men, on the other hand, may be more attuned to detecting male posturing and more inclined to underrate their competition.

Researchers were surprised to find that both men and women could equally and effectively manipulate their voices to sound more dominant. This may indicate a cultural shift. As more women enter traditionally male-dominated roles and leadership positions, they may choose to modify their voices to sound more formidable. As example, the study points to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who received vocal training to sound more domineering when coming into office.

The authors believe the study could have practical applications for vocal coaching, including in the fields of public speaking and acting, and in more effectively communicating with an audience.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Albright College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Susan Hughes, Justin Mogilski, Marissa Harrison. The Perception and Parameters of Intentional Voice Manipulation. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 2014 DOI: 10.1007/s10919-013-0163

Cite This Page:

Albright College. "What happens when we try to manipulate our voice to attract a mate? Her voice is hot, his is not." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140411153320.htm>.
Albright College. (2014, April 11). What happens when we try to manipulate our voice to attract a mate? Her voice is hot, his is not. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140411153320.htm
Albright College. "What happens when we try to manipulate our voice to attract a mate? Her voice is hot, his is not." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140411153320.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins