Well, Barry White Had Eight Kids…
Study shows that men with deeper voices have more children.
Who remembers Peter Brady’s voice-cracking, coming-of-age on the Bunch? Or the high school jock with the booming voice, swarmed by girls? Science has finally quantified what we have always known: canyon-voiced guys have the ladies at hello, and start babymaking after cocktails. Those long gone days when you deepened your voice to talk to the cheerleader…ah, you were just running on instinct, man.
The study, published in Biology Letters, states that men with deeper voices experience “higher reproductive success.” This is the first research to examine voice pitch and mating patterns.
A joint effort by Coren Apicella of Harvard University, David Feinberg of Canada’s McMaster University, and Frank Marlowe of Florida State University, the study examined the mating habits of a tribe that lives today much as humans did 200,000 years ago. The Hadza is a Tanzanian hunter-gatherer tribe in which the women collect berries and tubers and the men hunt and harvest honey. The Hadza was a valuable study sample as members choose their own mates rather than engage in arranged marriages (though there is adultery and divorce), and there is no use of birth control.
In an interview with the Harvard University Gazette Online, Apicella said, “The results of this study have implications for the evolution of vocal dimorphism [two distinct voice pitches]. While we don’t know the exact reason that these men with deeper voices have fathered more children, it may be that they have increased access to mates, begin reproducing at an earlier age, or their wives have shorter interbirth intervals because they provide more food to them.”
Deep voices may not necessarily always been associated with masculinity, nor high pitches with femininity, adds the researcher. “It’s possible that vocal dimorphism has evolved over thousands of years, partly due to mate selection,” explained Apicella. “Perhaps at one time, men and women's voices were closer in pitch than they are today.”
Feinberg, who was unavailable for an interview with demodirt at press time, discussed the findings on Canadian morning television. "Men who have high testosterone are showing that they have these really strong immune systems and they can handle that immunosuppressive effect of testosterone," Feinberg told CTV's Canada AM. "And that's why we find that women are preferring these low-pitched voices in men."
Does the same hold true for women? Do siren-pitched chickies attract more mates as well? "Men are preferring women with high-pitched voices to women with low-pitched voices and that's because a high-pitched voice in women is indicative of estrogen levels," Feinberg said. Higher estrogen levels mean better baby-making.
Being that voice pitch has a greater influence on mating patterns than previously acknowledged, what’s the unlucky bloke afflicted with an unshakably ladylike voice to do?
Well, he’s just cursed. "It's really easy to tell when somebody's faking these things," Feinberg said.
With all these deep-voiced men having so many kids, what does our auditory future hold? "What we'd expect to see is that over the years we'd have an increase in the frequency of people with lower-pitched voices," Feinberg said.
Let’s hope most of those people are men, or some women may have a hard time finding mates themselves.
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