Barry White AND Darth Vader can pull the chicks

Men who sound like soul singer Barry White can get ahead in the mating game because women remember a deep male voice, scientists say.

Women are very sensitive to the pitch of a voice and will recall a deep voice above higher tones. Then, depending on what they remember they can either choose or reject the gentleman in question.

Scientists at the University of Aberdeen said women will use the pitch of a voice to assess genetic quality as well as behavioural traits when looking for a long-term partner, such as anti-social behaviour and lack of emotional warmth.

The pitch of a voice is very important to women looking for a long-term partner. They use it to assess genetic quality as well as behavioral traits such as antisocial behaviour and lack of emotional warmth.

And when they come to evaluate potential partners, women rely on their memories to quickly provide information about the attributes and past behaviour of their suitor.

In the first experiment, 45 women were initially shown an image of a single object while listening to the name of the object spoken either by a high or low pitch male or female manipulated voice. 

They were then shown two similar but not identical versions of the object and asked to identify the one they had seen earlier. The women were also asked which voice they preferred.

In the second experiment, as well as manipulated voices, the researchers used real male and female voices to test how 46 new women rated the voices and how they scored on object memory.

In both cases, the authors found that women had a strong preference for the low pitch male voice and remembered objects more accurately when they have been introduced by the deep male voice.

Lead researcher Dr David Smith concludes: ‘Our findings demonstrate that women’s memory is enhanced by lower pitch male voices, compared with the less attractive raised pitch male voices. 

‘Our two experiments indicate for the first time that signals from the opposite-sex that are important for mate choice also affect accuracy in women’s memory.’

Dr Kevin Allan, who supervised the research, said: ‘We think this is evidence that evolution has shaped women’s ability to remember information associated with desirable men.

‘Good memory for specific encounters with desirable men allows women to compare and evaluate men according to how they might behave in different relationship contexts, for example a long-term committed relationship versus a short-term uncommitted relationship. 

‘This would help women to pick a suitable partner, and that’s a particularly important ability to have because the costs of poor mate-choice decisions can be severe’.

by Susan Floyd

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