October 16, 2013
Women Assume Men With Low Voices Will Cheat On Them
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Finding the right man may have just gotten exponentially easier. Traditionally those looking for a mate may have been interested in a man’s work, his social standing, his car and the size of his paycheck. A new study from researchers at McCaster University in Ontario, Canada now suggests you can also judge a man by the tone of his voice.
According to Jillian O’Connor, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behavior and lead author of the study, men with lower voices are better able to attract women than their higher-pitched counterparts. Though these men may have better attraction skills, the women are more likely to assume they’ll either be unfaithful or unwilling to get involved in a long-term relationship. O’Connor's paper is published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.
“The sound of someone’s voice can affect how we think of them,” said O’Connor in a statement. “Until now, it’s been unclear why women would like the voices of men who might cheat. But we found that the more women thought these men would cheat, the more they were attracted to them for a brief relationship when they are less worried about fidelity.”
To test her hypothesis, O’Connor recruited 87 women and asked them to listen to several male voices that had been digitally manipulated to make them sound lower or higher. After listening to the voices, the women were asked to assume which one of the men would be more likely to cheat on them. The women were then asked to assume which of the men, based on their modified voice, would be better for a long-term relationship or a short-term fling. More of the women chose the lower-voice sample as the kind of man with whom they’d want to have a short-term relationship.
David Feinberg, an assistant professor at McCaster University, says this study is less about understanding which men are more capable of attracting partners and more about understanding human evolution as it pertains to coupling.
“From an evolutionary perspective, these perceptions of future sexual infidelity may be adaptive,” said Feinberg. “The consequences of infidelity are very high whether it is emotional or financial and this research suggests that humans have evolved as a protection mechanism to avoid long-term partners who may cheat.”
It’s not always the men who become unfaithful in relationships, however. Previous studies have found women more often cheat on their partners during ovulation, particularly if they are no longer attracted to their partner. That study suggests such a pattern is likely an evolutionary remnant that drives women to copulate to continue furthering humanity.