...There's a new study out about how attractive men and women find each other. This one's... different. First of all, it was conducted on a tribe in Tanzania who uses to birth control, so apparently it's not a biased study.
Apparently men with deeper voices are more attractive to women because the deeper voice signifies a more masculine, dominant, and more *healthy* man. And men find women with higher voices more attractive because they're perceived as being more healthy, younger sounding and more feminine.
Oh, and a bonus for the men with deeper voices? They have more children than the men with higher pitched voices. That's why the no birth control comment was important. But women didn't have the same results - tonal voice quality made no difference in the number of children that they had. The thinking is that this study is providing a window into the evolution of the species, and perhaps why the voices of men and women are different.
They were joking around about it on the radio and had people calling in about the study, and one comment was made that they feel sorry for Bea Arthur ("Maude", "Golden Girls") with her "adam's appley voice". Yes, but what about all the women with great smoke phone-sex sorts of voices? They don't seem to have problems landing men. Heck, DH has even commented that my voice sounds great when it's coming back from being gone because it's got that smoky tinge to it.
I wonder how many guys in high school and college are now going to try pitching their voices lower in the attempt to get girls as a result. If they're even paying attention to things like this. But that aside...
I can sort of see where voice makes a difference to some people. DH and I spent a lot of time on the phone while he was working and I was in college. Part of his job involved travel, so he often called me from other parts of the country. And he has a nice timbre to his voice. It's not overly deep, but it's not lightweight either. It has a comforting tone to it, and whenever I heard it on the other end of the phone, I'd just smile.
I think I still do that, unless I'm really in a horrid mood, but I know hearing from him lightens that mood just a touch. I know other folks who have fallen in love with the voice on the other end of the phone even before they had seen each other - so voice clearly is important in some aspect or another. I had my doubts about whether or not people actually assign attributes to people based on their voices, but then I thought about radio personalities and narrators of things - if you never see their picture, you do assign a mental image to the individual, don't you?
But vocal quality doesn't tell you the worth of an individual, does it? I shouldn't think so, but apparently that's the next step in the study. The same folks who studied the tribe for vocal qualities also set up a pseudo-Olympics for hunting activities. Now they're looking for a link in physical prowess and hunting abilities to vocal qualities and reproductive success. Those results should be interesting to see, and how they attempt to parallel them to the evolution of the species.
I guess we sort of knew that all along - after all, all our cavepeople movies show the men with deep gritty voices. And the men that people look up to in movies have authoritative voices, like John Wayne and James Earl Jones. Well, not that Darth Vader is a more masculine, attractive individual, but I think you get my meaning...
...I just like a different sort of "man in black" and it had nothing to do with his voice.