Do men need a really deep manly voice? 16



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I’m wondering how many women would agree with the latest research which suggests that women are attracted to men with deep voices but only for a short-term fling.

Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, asked about 90 women to listen to men’s voices that were electronically manipulated to sound higher or lower and then choose who they thought would be more likely to cheat on their partners. And the verdict? Deep-voiced men were seen as being more suitable for a fling and more likely to cheat on their partners.

According to the team leader, Dr Jillian O’Connor, “We found that the more women thought these (deep voiced) men would cheat, the more they were attracted to them for a brief relationship when they are less worried about fidelity”.

The published findings did not show the ages of the about 90 women, nor their marital/partner status but, presumably, some would be married or have a partner. Am I being a wee bit churlish when I think that it doesn’t say much about Canadian women’s view about fidelity? I mean day-dreaming about somebody who sounds like Barry White while completely forgetting poor old Stanley sitting at home, his high-tone voice patiently silent while he waits for Doris to come home after her reverie.

According to Scientific American, women consider a deep male voice as being associated with “older, heavier, taller, hairier and more attractive men”.

They continued, “Studies have demonstrated a female preference for men with deeper voices as short-term partners and preference seems to vary across the menstrual cycle, peaking during the height of fertility. And elsewhere, research finds that North American men with lower pitched voices report higher numbers of sexual partners in comparison with men with higher pitched voices”.

The good news for chaps who don’t sound like Barry White – incidentally, I did once try to do “Never Gonna Give You Up” in the shower but when the neighbourhood dogs start to whine I was forced to abandon my effort – is that “semen analysis reveals that men with deeper voices have lower scores on seven motility parameters, even when lifestyle and environmental factors are taken into consideration.

And this is why, so this prestigious journal concludes, men with higher pitched voices have more children. Quite frankly, one was enough for me.

And this deep voice preference for females seeking a partner extends to the animal kingdom as well. Researchers at a French University, noted that horses in the wild live in harems of adults and juveniles led by a stallion and when the young mares grow up they move out of home and seek a mate.

“Female choice of a harem often occurs from afar, where sound is the most effective form of communication for a first encounter so females get a first impression of the stallion based on his concert,” said researcher Alban Lemasson.

“By listening to calls, mares might be finding the toughest, calmest and most fertile males – the ones with the potential to be good fathers and protective mates,” he said.

So stallions with a high pitched whinny are unlikely to find a mare even if they are hung like a, well, like a horse. I can certainly empathise with that.

I was starting to get really depressed trying to sing Isaac Hayes’ “Walk On By” and sounding more like Frankie Valli being strangled while singing “Big Girls Don’t Cry” when I came upon the wonderful Dr Tasmin Saxton for Northumbria University in the UK who has also done some research on deep-voiced men and their alleged attractiveness.

Her study has led her to conclude, “But in humans, there can be too much of a good thing. Women like deeper voices, but not too low. Too much masculinity might be good for short term relationships but not to build a family. And if you try to fake a deeper voice, it might well make you sound more dominant and confident; bur probably won’t necessarily lead to people perceiving you as more attractive”.

Amen to that.

So, goodbye to Mr Hayes and Mr White and their tunes in the shower. I will stick with Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdink’s classics while I perform my ablutions. The moment I reach for the soap, the bathroom will reverberate with “Release Me” or, perhaps, “A man Without Love”.

That’s low enough and I’m doing this for you Stanley – Doris will come to her senses.


What do you think of these findings? Have you ever been more attracted to someone because of their deep manly voice? Tell us below.

Russell Grenning

Russell Grenning is a Brisbane-based former journalist and retired political adviser who began his career with the ABC in 1968 in Brisbane and subsequently worked on the Brisbane afternoon daily, "The Telegraph" and later as a columnist for "The Courier Mail" and "The Australian". He worked for a string of senior Ministers in the Federal, Victorian and Queensland Governments as well as in senior executive public relations positions, including Assistant Federal Director, Public Relations, for Australia Post, Public Relations Manager for the Queensland Department of Main Roads and Principal Adviser, Corporate Relations, for the Queensland Law Society.

  1. A study group of 90 is far too small for the findings to have any statistical relevance besides anyone knows stats can be twisted to give the answer desired (he says ins not very deep voice).

  2. “So stallions with a high pitched whinny are unlikely to find a mare even if they are hung like a, well, like a horse. I can certainly empathise with that.”
    Watch out Russell, Jacqui Lambie will be looking for you.
    As usual I enjoyed reading your humourous interpretation on any subject.

    1 REPLY
    • Hi Leone and many thanks again. Dear God, save me from Ms Lambie!

  3. i read a study saying that men choose a sexual partner with their eyes and women choose with their ears. I could well believe that.

  4. It may be a change in my hearing but it seems to me that both men and women are now using higher tones when speaking.

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