You’re the voice

VoiceHumans use a variety of cues to ascertain all kinds of things about other members of our species – body language, dress, appearance, smell; and most of it happens without us even noticing – it is purely instinctual. And even voices convey so much more than words – they convey emotions, state of mind and also attractiveness…

It seems that people rate others with similar accents to be more attractive than those who speak differently. For men, they were found to be further attractive if they spoke with an average shorter word length.  They were also found to be particularly appealing if the voice was deeper, an inherently masculine trait due to the actions of testosterone on the larynx…

In women a breathy voice was found to be especially attractive. A higher pitched voice, indicative of a smaller larynx was also found to be desirable and feminine… [1]

Aside from the obvious sex-related differences, the research found that we are attracted to and prefer voices that are similar to our own. This vocal similarity leads to a soothing sense of community and social belonging. Of course, there is the exotic nature of voices that we also find enticing – the smoothness of the French accent for example – that seems to set everyone’s hearts aflutter!



[1] Babel. M, McGuire. G & King. J. Towards a more nuanced view of vocal attractiveness. PLoS One. 2014 Feb 19;9(2)

Photo credit: eschipul / Foter / CC BY-SA