Female Voice Most Attractive at Ovulation
May 7, 2008 1:15 PM   Subscribe

Researchers at the University at Albany, Nate Pipitone and Gordon Gallup, recently published results showing that a woman's voice is most attractive when she is most fertile. Popular coverage at newscientist.com , the New York Times, and the May 6th episode of the Colbert Report.

Full article available at the journal, Evolution and Human Behavior, or through Elsevier (both require subscription i.e. through science direct).

A pdf of one of the original articles (Hughes, Dispenza & Gallup 2004) on voice attractiveness, which links promiscuity and morphological features to voice attractiveness, can be found here (*possibly* NSFW, link is to scienceandsex.com).
posted by laminarial (9 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: The real meat her is behind a subscription wall that'll prevent almost everyone from from being able to read it. -- cortex

A total of 51 female undergraduates from the State University of New York at Albany were recruited to provide voice samples.


An additional 34 males and 32 females were recruited through the university research subject pool to rate the voice recordings. Raters ranged from 17 to 25 years of age. All raters reported being heterosexual. Raters all reported having normal hearing. Six raters handed in incomplete rating forms and were not included in the analysis, leaving 30 male and 30 female raters.

posted by cashman at 1:32 PM on May 7, 2008

Please god (or other, vaguer, entity) make this kind of "research" stop. Please?
posted by jokeefe at 1:40 PM on May 7, 2008

Oh, and can you arrange for the "results" to stop dripping into the media at a constant, maddening pace? And, can for the love of all that is holy, maybe this stuff can start being taken as seriously as it deserves, i.e. not at all? Huh? I'm begging the mysterious powers of the universe here.
posted by jokeefe at 1:43 PM on May 7, 2008

jesus, jokeefe, overreact much? I agree with cashman that the study needs to be done with a larger group, but it's an interesting phenomenon that really shows how mysteriously and subtly nature works her magic.
posted by brevator at 1:47 PM on May 7, 2008

oh her "wiles," if you will.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:55 PM on May 7, 2008

Wasn't there another study that concluded that women's faces are most attractive when they are the most fertile? I get the impression that there are guys who collect these studies and think they can use them to improve their odds of picking up women at bars. "Dude, I heard about this study. If her face is zit-free and her voice is high, she'll totally do you. Does my breath smell like feet?"

In other news, guys who read studies like this in earnest are flagged in a central dating computer as "Unsuitable for Reproduction/Conversation".
posted by Pastabagel at 1:57 PM on May 7, 2008

Alfred Kinsey. The film.

Pheromones (in humans).
posted by WalterMitty at 1:58 PM on May 7, 2008

Well brevator, the problem with Pathological or Voodoo Science is that it tends to fall outside the normal critical process of science.

Once you've got yourself a nice little journal or two on N-rays or parapsychology or polywater or cold fusion, and a nice little circle of groupthink going, real scientists tend to leave you alone. Nobody outside the circle is going to waste time trying to reproduce your results, or critique your methodology.

And since your results always right at the edge of statistical detectabilty, all it takes is a tiny little bit of discarding data, a tiny smidgeon of cherry-picking, a bit of munging of your tiny samples (51, eh?) to nudge things into statistical significance.

Therefore, if we do not mock them, who will? WHO WILL?
posted by TheophileEscargot at 2:04 PM on May 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

I agree with cashman that the study needs to be done with a larger group, but it's an interesting phenomenon that really shows how mysteriously and subtly nature works her magic.
posted by brevator at 4:47 PM on May 7

What is the 'magic'? That fertile women lure unsuspecting drone males with their 'siren song', or that men notice these cues and instinctively thrust out their chests and flex their pecs up and down in response.

Ah, romance, the subtle dance of charm, guile, and pec sweat.
posted by Pastabagel at 2:04 PM on May 7, 2008

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