Due to its biological ties to youth and fertility, raised pitch in female’s voices has been thought to be more attractive to males. But new research is showing that instead of raising their voices to increase attraction, women are now lowering their voices to become more attractive.
The Telegraph reported:
Both men and women lower the pitch of the their voice when they want to signal that they are attracted to another person, researchers found.
The findings dispel the idea that women adopt a higher, more feminine tone when they find a man attractive, like the stereotype damsel in distress.
Instead, they are more likely to put on a husky voice such as that of the television presenter Mariella Frostrup or the actress Joanna Lumley.
Researchers said the ploy is of particular use when talking over the phone, or even in voicemail messages, where non- visual and non-verbal forms of flirting – such as fluttering eyelashes and wry smiles – will not work.
A team from Albright College in Pennsylvannia tested 48 male and female students, asking them to look at a picture and then leave a voicemail message for the person in the image.
The more attractive the person in the photograph was deemed to be, the lower lower the tone of voice used in the message, said assistant professor of psychology Susan Hughes.
She told the Journal of Nonverbal Behaviour: “We found that both sexes used a lower-pitch voice and showed a higher level of physiological arousal when speaking to a more attractive opposite-sex target.”
Women choose a voice that society suggests men will find attractive and it is not a high pitched feminine one, she added.
“There appears to be a common stereotype in our culture that deems a sexy female voice as one that sounds husky, breathy, and lower-pitched,” said Prof Hughes.
“This suggests that the motivation to display a sexy/seductive female voice may conflict with the motivation to sound more feminine.
“When 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.”