Sep 26 2007
According to researchers from the U.S. and Canada one of the features which attracts a woman to a man is a deep voice.
It seems a deep voice is even more appealing than a good physique or an attractive face.
The researchers say men with deep voices are also much more likely to have more children than men who do not have deep voices.
The scientists suggest a deep voice in a man is comparable to a peacock's tail - it has no survival value, but attracts the female of the species.
It is testosterone which masculinizes the voice at puberty.
The researchers led by David Feinberg, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour at McMaster University and Coren Apicella studied the Hadza tribe in Tanzania which were chosen because their lifestyle reflects those of humans thousands of years ago.
The large Hadza tribe does not practice birth control and live a hunter-gatherer lifestyle with the females gathering berries and searching for wild plants while the males collect honey and hunt animals.
While the Hadza are monogamous, extra-marital sex is common.
The research team interviewed 52 women and 49 men from the tribe, aged 18 to 55.
The interviews took place in Swahili and the voices of the men and women were recorded.
When the recordings were studied it was found that the deep voiced men had fathered more children than the non-deep voiced men; the man with the deepest voice had ten surviving children, while the one with the highest pitched voice had only three.
Apicella suggests that the men with the lower pitched voices possibly had higher testosterone levels, which attracted them more to females or made them more attractive to them.
Apicella says it is also a possibility that men with higher testosterone levels start reproducing earlier in life and could also be better hunters..... a better hunter would bring more food home, allowing their wives to have shorter intervals between births.
Apicella and team gleaned little from the interviews with the women but say it is possible, if vocal dimorphism evolved partly due to mate selection, that in the past men and women had more similar voices.