Men's Voice Attracts Women Most: Why Deep and Breathy Talking Is Better Than Expensive Cologne

Men's Voice Attracts Women Most: Why Deep and Breathy Talking Is Better Than Expensive Cologne
A new study shows that husky male voices that project masculinity appeals more to women, while a breathy, higher pitched woman is alluring to a man. Creative Commons

The charm of a man could sweep a woman off her feet, but it's the voice that actually carries her all the way. 

A new British study finds that a certain voice projects immediate attractiveness to the opposite sex.  For men a tender, deep voice with a heavy breath is very attractive and shows your musculature, likewise a woman with a breathy but higher pitched voice signals a smaller physique that doesn't challenge, but rather lures a man in.

"These results are largely consistent with the hypothesis that vocal attractiveness is achieved with the size projection mechanism also used in animal calls," the authors wrote. "But the breathiness in the male voice attractiveness rating is intriguing, as it could be a way of neutralizing the aggressiveness associated with a large body size."

In the study, researchers recruited 10 men with an average age of 23 and asked them to listen to a female recorded voice saying "Good luck with your exams" and score it on a scale of one to five, five being the most appealing voice.  More recordings played with modified pitches. 

The same experiment was repeated for 16 women, who had to pick the most attractive male voice.  

Researchers found that a man with a breathy, deep and rumbling voice was most attractive for women, while women who had a high pitch were very appealing compared to lower pitched females. 

"For women, it is a bit of a sexist prototype," Yi Xu, lead author and researcher at the division of psychology and language sciences at University College London, told Daily Mail. "The research suggests that subconsciously, men are more attracted to a female voice that indicates friendliness and submission."

"Men prefer a voice which projects a small body size, which is higher pitched and breathy. Marilyn Monroe is a good example," Xu added.

Emotions also play a strong role in attracting the opposite sex.  Another study by researchers from the University of British Columbia found that a happier woman is more attractive to men, while the same emotion is very unattractive in men.  Pride is more appealing in a man, which is the least attractive emotion in women.

For your professional life, another study found that speech enhancement has been shown to increase a person's chance of moving up the field because the sound of voice could make an indelible impression on people.

So if you're all for changing the sound of your voice without changing who you are as a person, more power to you. 

"These results suggest that what makes the voice attractive are mostly properties that enhance the characteristics already in the averaged voice of the sex," the authors wrote. "These findings may therefore explain why averaged voices are more attractive than certain individual voices."

The current study can be found in the journal PLOS ONE.

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