Sound of seduction: Scientists reveal men do tingle when hearing fertile female voices
The power of seduction has long been associated not only with appearance, but also with certain tones of voice. American psychologists have found out that female attractiveness has a subtle and subconscious impact, rooted in physiology.
The study, titled: “Physiological changes in response to hearing female voices recorded at high fertility,” has been recently published in the journal Physiology & Behavior.
It shows that hormonal changes at the fertile time of the monthly cycle may influence the woman’s larynx, which, in its turn, triggers a positive reaction both among males and females, without them consciously noticing it.
Dozens of male participants, including some gay men, listened to digital recordings of women speaking at fertile and non-fertile times of the menstrual cycle, as well as of women using hormonal contraception.
The researchers found out that within five seconds of hearing a voice of a naturally cycling female at her most fertile periods, electrical activity in a man’s skin increases by about 20 percent, alongside a 5 percent increase in his heart rate.
“A man’s ability to identify and respond to a fertile woman confers him a potential reproductive advantage when choosing between potential mates,” the study’s author, Melanie Shoup-Knox, of James Madison University, told The Telegraph.
“Women, on the other hand, may get a competitive advantage from detecting the fertility status of other females,’’ she added.
This research sheds light on the phenomenon that has long been a matter of scientific concern, as it reveals how dependent on instincts we are, as a species.
The lasting stereotype that women generally prefer men with deep voices, and men prefer women with higher ones, has also been confirmed in the research, which used computer modulated voices. Scientists from University College London found that the tone of a voice indicates the size of the speaker’s body – for instance, a deep male voice indicates that its owner has a large frame.
Another, rather linguistic research suggested that people also find attractive voices that are similar to their own. This factor refers to social and geographical marking that leaves a trace in the accent and pronunciation.
“The voice is an amazingly flexible tool that we use to construct our identity,” lead author Molly Babel, a linguistics professor at the University of British Columbia in Canada, said in a statement. “Very few things in our voices are immutable, so we felt that our preferences had to be about more than a person’s shape and size.”