to each other by lowering their voice pitch. For both men and women, a
lower voice pitch signalled attraction, a study finds.
Dr Susan Hughes, the study’s first author, said:
“We found that both sexes used a lower-pitch voice and showed a higher
level of physiological arousal when speaking to a more attractive
For the study, 48 people were asked to
leave a scripted voice message while viewing a picture of an invented
person. When they looked at a picture of a more attractive person,
people used a lower pitched voice for the message. Men were expected to
lower their tone to signal attraction, which is what they did. Dr Hughes
expected that women would raise their voices to seem more attractive,
but the opposite happened.
Dr Hughes said:
appears to be a common stereotype in our culture that deems a sexy
female voice as one that sounds husky, breathy, and lower-pitched. This
suggests that the motivation to display a sexy/seductive female voice
may conflict with the motivation to sound more feminine.”
It could be that women learn to lower their tone as it is an accepted signal, Dr Hughes said:
a woman naturally lowers her voice, it may be perceived as her attempt
to sound more seductive or attractive, and therefore serves as a signal
of her romantic interest.”
The research also found that the change in voice tone was large enough that people could spot it.
Dr Hughes said:
findings may have implications for the important role voice plays in
mate selection and attraction. If people can perceive changes in others’
voices when speaking to attractive individuals, this perception may be
adaptive for identifying interested potential mates, detecting partner
interest in others, and possible detection of partner infidelity.”
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues.
He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.