A new study claims that men evolved deep voices to intimidate, not to attract.
A new study finds that the deep, resonant voices of men didn’t evolve to stimulate sexual attraction in women, but rather to intimidate rivals.
The study found that men reacted much more strongly to a deeply pitched male voice than women, according to a Penn State statement.
Humans have the biggest sex-based difference in voice pitch of any primate, and many scientists had theorized that perhaps this was to attraact females. But while a lower pitch did seem more attractive to women, it had a much greater effect in men indicating that the voice evolved this way in order to establish dominance.
The study did find that the different in voice pitch correlated with mating patterns, especially in cases of polygyny where there is more male competition for females. There aren’t as many sex differences in cases of monogamy.
Scientists are still trying to understand the evolution between these huge sex differences seen in humans and some other primates.
The study is based on data from recording more than 500 men and women speaking, played back to 1,100 different men and women.
“We wanted to determine if sexual selection had produced sex differences in humans and closely related species,” said David A. Puts, associate professor of anthropology, Penn State. “If similar vocal sex differences appear across species with similar levels of mating competition, then we infer that sexual selection produced these sex differences.”
“We find that masculine traits in humans are not the same as, say, in peacocks where the beautiful tail attracts a mate,” said Puts. “For example, beards make men more dominant looking, scarier and seemingly more dangerous, but most women prefer clean-shaven men.”
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