Why The Sound Of Your Voice Can Make You More Attractive To Men

"Well, hello there." Think about saying this to a man you find attractive. Does your voice lift and lilt? Or does it deepen into huskiness?

Before you answer that, let's consider what science has long said about the role of voices in sexual attraction. It's been shown in many studies that women prefer men with lower-pitched voices and that a deeper voice communicates a man is masculine, dominant, strong, and genetically fit. In fact, such men not only tend to have higher levels of testosterone coursing through their veins, but they generally have more sexual partners and more children than men with higher voices (via The Royal Society Publishing Proceedings B).

Now what about women? What kind of a voice do men prefer? That's more complicated.

Research has shown that men tend to prefer higher-pitched voices, as it indicates youth, femininity, and a smaller body. But women's voices change depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle, and are perceived as most attractive in the most fertile part of the cycle (via The Journal of Nonverbal Behavior). Evolution at work, or is the woman subconsciously manipulating her voice to sound more attractive?

There's a twist when it comes to what makes a woman's voice attractive

So back to the original question: Didn't you imagine your voice would lower when you said hello to an attractive man?

That's what researchers found in a 2010 study. The pitch of women's voices lowered when they thought they were talking to an attractive man on the phone. In another study, when participants were asked to speak in a "sexy" voice, both men and women lowered the pitch of their voices — with the women's dipping even lower than the men's. There is also the cultural perception that a sexy female voice is one that is husky and breathy.

But all this goes against research that shows men prefer higher-pitched voices in women, with an accompanying biological reason for it. Higher voices communicate youth and a perceived ability to procreate. So there is quite the paradox.

The researchers of the 2010 study concluded that when a woman lowers her voice while speaking to an attractive man, she's telegraphing her sexual interest in him. That direct communication, via the pitch of the voice, overcomes a man's original preference for higher voices. So let that husky, Lauren Bacall-like voice out. It will definitely get results.