Thursday, April 25, 2013

Why Women Like Deep Voices and Men Prefer High Ones


We find different pitches attractive because of the body size they signal—and a touch of breathiness is crucial to take the edge off a man’s deep voice. Image via Flickr user linda

Who you’re physically attracted to might seem like a frivolous, random preference. In recent years, though, science has told us that our seemingly arbitrary tastes often reflect unconscious choices that are based upon very relevant biological traits.

In general, we find symmetric faces more attractive, likely because they reflect a healthy underlying genome. Women typically prefer men with more distinctively masculine facial features because they indicate high testosterone levels and physical strength, while men prefer women with exaggerated youthful features, possibly because of the evolutionary advantages a male gets when coupling with a younger mate.

Despite all this research into our visual appearances, though, scientists have done relatively little digging into our auditory preferences when it comes to sexual attraction. Why do we find certain peoples’ voices attractive–and why do we sometimes find other types of voices such a turn-off? Specifically, why do women generally prefer men with deep voices, and men prefer women with higher ones?

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