Experimental evidence that women speak in a higher voice pitch to men they find attractive

Paul Fraccaro, Benedict Jones, Jovana Vukovic, Finlay Smith, Christopher Watkins, David Feinberg, Anthony Little, Lisa Debruine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (SciVal)


Although humans can raise and lower their voice pitch, it is not known whether such alterations can function to increase the likelihood of attracting preferred mates. Because men find higher-pitched women's voices more attractive, the voice pitch with which women speak to men may depend on the strength of their attraction to those men. Here, we measured voice pitch when women left voicemail messages for masculinized and feminized versions of a prototypical male face. We found that the difference in women's voice pitch between these two conditions positively correlated with the strength of their preference for masculinized versus feminized male faces, whereby women tended to speak with a higher voice pitch to the type of face they found more attractive (masculine or feminine). Speaking with a higher voice pitch when talking to the type of man they find most attractive may function to reduce the amount of mating effort that women expend in order to attract and retain preferred mates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-67
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011


  • attractiveness
  • mate choice
  • sexual dimorphism
  • sexual selection
  • voice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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