25 September 2007 Baby Bonanza For Men With Deep Voices
Men who have lower-pitched voices have more children than do men with high-pitched voices, researchers from McMaster University have found. Furthermore, their study, published in Biology Letters, suggests that for reproductive-minded women, mate selection favors men with low-pitched voices. The researchers say that the study offers interesting insights into the evolution of the human voice as well as how we choose our mates.
McMaster's David Feinberg, in previous studies, found that women find deeper male voices to be more attractive, judging them to be more dominant, older, healthier and more masculine sounding. Men, on the other hand, find higher-pitch voices in women more attractive, subordinate, feminine, healthier and younger sounding.
"While we find in this new study that voice pitch is not related to offspring mortality rates," explains Feinberg, "we find that men with low voice pitch have higher reproductive success and more children born to them."
Feinberg chose the subjects for the new study from the Hadza of Tanzania, one of the last true hunter-gatherer cultures. Because the Hadza have no modern birth control, the researchers were able to determine that men who have lower pitched voices have more children than men with higher pitched voices. "If our ancestors went through a similar process", says Feinberg, "this could be one reason why men's and women's voices sound different."