A woman's voice tends to rise in pitch the closer she is to ovulation according to research published today in the Royal Society Journal Biology Letters. Researchers believe this is because a higher pitch is more attractive and more feminine, thus signalling fertility to potential partners.
Scientists at the University of California recorded the voices of 69 women to examine whether they raise their voice pitch during ovulation. Using hormone tests the women were recorded at two phases of their ovulatory cycle, once when fertility was low and once near ovulation. Results showed that the closer women were to ovulation, the more they raised their pitch.
Interestingly, this difference was apparent only when women spoke a simple introductory sentence such as 'hi, I'm a student at UCLA' - and not for simple vowel sounds. According to the researchers this shows that women change their voice in relation to fertility and possibly only in social communication contexts.
The findings follow other recent studies which have documented several detectable ovulatory cues in humans, including midcycle increases in body scent attractiveness, flirtation and attention to style of dress.
A 2006 report also finds that women are slaves to their hormones. Just like men.
Thirty-eight normally cycling women provided daily reports of sexual interests and feelings for 35 days. Near ovulation, both pair-bonded and single women reported feeling more physically attractive and having greater interest in attending social gatherings where they might meet men. Pair-bonded women who were near ovulation reported greater extra-pair flirtation and greater mate guarding by their primary partner. As predicted, however, these effects were exhibited primarily by women who perceived their partners to be low on hypothesized good genes indicators (low in sexual attractiveness relative to investment attractiveness). Ovulation-contingent increases in partner mate guarding were also moderated by female physical attractiveness; midcycle increases in mate guarding were experienced primarily by less attractive women, whereas more attractive women experienced relatively high levels of mate guarding throughout their cycle. These findings demonstrate ovulation-contingent shifts in desires and behaviors that are sensitive to varying fitness payoffs, and they provide support for the good genes hypothesis of human female extra-pair mating.
So guys, if you want a girlfriend who gets jealous over you then go for a less attractive woman.
What I want to know: Since the birth control pill prevents ovulation does it reduce the desire of women to dress up? Also, does it lower the average pitch of women's voices?
Once we gain the ability to manipulate the mental switches that cause mating behavior will women choose to put themselves perpetually in the mental state they normally feel just around ovulation? Or will they put themselves in other mental states less oriented toward mating? I'm wondering whether we'll still have lots of sexy dressing women 50 years from now.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2008 October 19 02:52 PM Brain Sexuality|