'Sexy' voice gives fertile women away
A woman's voice becomes more attractive when she is most fertile. That's according to Nathan Pipitone and Gordon Gallup of the State University of New York at Albany.
The pair recorded women counting from 1 to 10 at four occasions during their menstrual cycle. They then replayed the recordings at random to male and female students and asked them to rate the attractiveness of the voices. Both males and females judged the women's voices to be most attractive if they were recorded during the peak fertility period of the menstrual cycle, and less attractive if they were recorded during non-fertile periods (Evolution and Human Behavior, DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2008.02.001).
The results are in line with evidence that the female voice box, or larynx, is under the influence of sex hormones, says Gallup. He says the changes in the female voice during peak fertility support the view that women are "different" at that point in the menstrual cycle - in other words, that they experience oestrus.
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Martie Haselton and Greg Bryant at the University of California, Los Angeles, say that vocal pitch plays an important role in judging fertility. "We have found that voices are higher in pitch on high-fertility days of the cycle," says Haselton.