Men with deep voices stand a better chance of scoring a partner.

Let's say a man with a voice like James Earl Jones says something to a heterosexual woman like, "Slip off those panties," except in more of a romancing tone than he typically used as Darth Vader. Now, unless she was standing in line at the grocery store, there's a fair chance she'd comply. Hell, there's a fair chance most men would comply.

Now pretend some guy with a voice that sounds like David Beckham after he huffed a little helium said the same thing to a straight woman. She likely wouldn't feel the same compulsion to slide off her panties. It's more likely she'd giggle, or even assume that the guy wanted her to take them off so he could try them on himself.

It's a cruel fact of human mating behavior that deeper-voiced males are more attractive to females. However, it's also a cruel fact that these deeper-voiced males are more likely to cheat on their partner and it's all because of testosterone.

At least that's what researchers from China's Southwest University found.

What They Did

The Chinese researchers recorded the voices of 88 men and 128 women and measured their "fundamental frequency," a spectral property of speech that measures the lowest resonant frequency of a vibrating object – that object being, in this case, the vocal chords of the participants.

They were then asked to fill out forms that assessed their attitudes towards cheating. All the participants were between 18 and 25, heterosexual, and in good health.

What They Found

Their answers indicated that men with deeper voices had more casual attitudes towards fidelity and were more likely to step out on their partners. Women, no fools, also perceived men with deeper voices as more likely to cheat on them.

As far as women's voices, their vocal parameters didn't indicate one way or another if they're more likely to give in to any libidinous, wandering impulses.

T Levels

What This Means to You

As far as men, having a deep voice is itself part of the problem. That particular attribute attracts women, thus giving the deep-voiced male more opportunities for sex. It also, according the researchers, increases their chances of obtaining "higher quality partners."

It's like being a fat guy who really likes Cheetos suddenly finding himself in a town that manufactures Cheetos. Since Cheetos are made there and employ most of the citizens, Cheetos are in all the stores and in all the homes. He likes Cheetos and Cheetos like him. He can't swing a stick without the end of it getting covered in cheesy dust.

Same thing if you've got a deep voice and are reasonably unrepugnant. Lots of women are presumably available to you since, in the animal kingdom, deeper vocal sounds are associated with greater size, strength, or power. And women, being animals themselves, aren't immune to this simple hormonal preference.

All of this points at testosterone. The higher a male's testosterone levels during developmental stages, the deeper his voice (barring some sort of idiopathic physiological factors that made the vocal cords immune to testosterone, e.g. Mike Tyson).

When a young man hits puberty, his body is exposed to a flood of testosterone. In addition to making him more muscular and more horny, it also affects his voice. The vocal chords start to grow in length and thicken. Where the chords were once thin and higher pitched like the strings of a violin, testosterone turns them into a deeper, resonant cello.

Testosterone also increases the size of laryngeal cartilages, muscles, and ligaments and the overall effect is a drop in vocal pitch of about an octave. Male voices remain largely unchanged throughout the rest of their youth and middle age, provided their vocal chords aren't affected by systemic disease or excessive pollution, smoking, injury, or shouting.

Even a drop in testosterone later on in life doesn't affect the tonal quality of the voice (not until they reach codgerdom). This is why men who have chosen to change their sex late in life continue to have the same, deep voice they had when they identified as male (see Caitlyn Jenner).

That's also why it might be unfair to cast all deep-voiced men as potentially unfaithful as age, medical problems, or environmental influences might have hacked away at their once-high testosterone levels. Circumstance might have gelded that once potent stud, or at least tamed him.

This is all speculative, though, regardless of the results of this particular study. As such, it would be unfair of women to accuse their men of cheating on them simply because they have a gruff voice, a radio voice, or a voice that the dog obeys.

Free will still exists and hopefully a deep-voiced man's better angels are immune to the siren call of high testosterone.

Related: Your Ears Can Detect Low Testosterone

Related: Testosterone Levels Determine What You Buy

References

  1. Jing Zhang, " Vocal characteristics predict infidelity intention and relationship commitment in men but not in women," Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 168, 1 January 2021.