June 18, 2008

Women with high-pitched voices are more attractive

Perception. 2008;37(4):615-23.

The role of femininity and averageness of voice pitch in aesthetic judgments of women's voices.

Feinberg DR, DeBruine LM, Jones BC, Perrett DI.

Although averageness is preferred in auditory stimuli (eg music) and non-face objects (eg wristwatches), exaggerated feminine characteristics are preferred to averageness in female faces. To establish whether or not men prefer femininity in female voices to average characteristics, we conducted a correlational study (study 1) to assess the relationship between voice pitch and attractiveness ratings. We found a positive linear relationship between voice pitch and attractiveness ratings. In study 2 we manipulated pitch in women's voices with low (lower than average), average, and high (higher than average) starting pitches and gauged men's preferences. Men preferred women's voices with raised pitch for all levels of starting pitch. These findings suggest that men prefer high voice pitch to average voice pitch in women's voices.

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1 comment:

Dragon Horse said...

I find this very true in movies from East and South Asia, they portray the most attractive woman as the one who acts the most girlish and has the highest and softest voice.

I can't speak for all the West, but this definately is not true in the Anglophone world. The most attractive women in film and TV usually has a somewhat masculine personality and a fairly deep voice...although she may look feminine as far as her body, her face is often not as soft and girlish as in East Asia, more angled and masculine (think Angelina Jolie or Kiera Knightly). Still they might have larger than average lips and also large eyes.