Men with deep voice may be lacking in sperm: study

by Deborah Braconnier report
Sperm
A sperm attempts to penetrate the ovum coat to fertilize it. Image from Wikipedia

(Medical Xpress) -- Women look for tall, dark and handsome. Those chiseled features and that deep sexy voice have gained the attention of women for generations. However, a new study published in PLoS ONE shows that those men with high-pitched voices may be better when it comes to mating.

The study, led by Leigh Simmons from the University of Western Australia looked at 54 between the ages of 18 and 32 and 30 from a local college campus.

The researchers recorded the voices of the men and then had the female participants rate the voices in terms of and attractiveness. As expected, the majority of the women voted the deep voices more attractive.

Next, the researchers had each male participant provide a semen sample to the lab. Each sample was entered into a sperm-analysis system which rated the sperm on its ability to swim toward a female’s egg. They also examined sperm count.

The results of the analysis showed that the men with deeper voices produced ejaculate with fewer sperm cells than the men with higher pitched voices.

The research suggests that the link between deep voices and a decline in sperm may be an evolutionary trade-off. Traits such as the deep voice which tend to be associated with success and dominance are traded for a low sperm count. While testosterone does play a role in the creation of sperm, too much can impair sperm production.

While those men with the deeper voices did show lower sperm counts than the other men participating, all sperm counts measured in the study were within healthy parameters.

More information: Simmons LW, Peters M, Rhodes G (2011) Low Pitched Voices Are Perceived as Masculine and Attractive but Do They Predict Semen Quality in Men? PLoS ONE 6(12): e29271. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029271

Abstract
Women find masculinity in men's faces, bodies, and voices attractive, and women's preferences for men's masculine features are thought to be biological adaptations for finding a high quality mate. Fertility is an important aspect of mate quality. Here we test the phenotype-linked fertility hypothesis, which proposes that male secondary sexual characters are positively related to semen quality, allowing females to obtain direct benefits from mate choice. Specifically, we examined women's preferences for men's voice pitch, and its relationship with men's semen quality. Consistent with previous voice research, women judged lower pitched voices as more masculine and more attractive. However men with lower pitched voices did not have better semen quality. On the contrary, men whose voices were rated as more attractive tended to have lower concentrations of sperm in their ejaculate. These data are more consistent with a trade off between sperm production and male investment in competing for and attracting females, than with the phenotype-linked fertility hypothesis.

Related Stories

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

The deep voice of alpha male

May 28, 2010

Men with a deep, masculine voice are seen as more dominant by other men but a man's own dominance - perceived or actual - does not affect how attentive he is to his rivals' voices. His own dominance does however influence ...

Do women's voices really allow men to detect ovulation?

Sep 21, 2011

The voice can reveal a lot about a person - their sex, their age, how they are feeling - and recent studies have even suggested that women's voices might also contain cues that men can read about how close they are to ovulation. ...

Recommended for you

New medical device to make the mines safer

Nov 21, 2014

Dehydration can be a serious health issue for Australia's mining industry, but a new product to be developed with input from Flinders University's Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) is set to more effectively ...

US family gets $6.75 million in Botox case

Nov 20, 2014

A New York couple who said Botox treatment of their son's cerebral palsy left him with life-threatening complications and sued its manufacturer won a $6.75 million verdict from a federal jury on Thursday.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Xbw
3.2 / 5 (5) Jan 09, 2012
So you are telling me that "Tiny Tim" http://www.youtub...-jBFzXl0 was overflowing with sperm?
Argiod
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 09, 2012
Just goes to show you what happens when you use facetious criteria to select a mate. Men pick according to physical attractiveness (youth, smooth skin, body proportions) with no regard for the personality (we'll put up with almost anything, to get laid). Women go by a man's ability to provide resources, and voice depth. On the overall, women probably have a better time of it. It is always the woman who picks the mate; men simply apply for the position, and hope she agrees. Otherwise, it would be men plying the world'd "oldest profession"... and women would be paying us... But, don't hold your breath waiting for THAT to happen...
tjwied
4.3 / 5 (4) Jan 09, 2012
Are you kidding me?

The data wasn't even significant. Please, all of you read the publication in question. It's open source. Look at the scatter plot they published, it's garbage. Absolute garbage.

That said, I'm not saying their claims are untrue. Their results may actually resonate in reality....but please, for the love of God, don't run around citing this as fact. Far from it...

tjwied
4.5 / 5 (2) Jan 09, 2012
"Just goes to show you what happens when you use facetious criteria to select a mate"

You are implying women should go for men on the basis of their potential sperm count.
johnnyringo
5 / 5 (5) Jan 09, 2012
This "study" was conducted and posted by short, balding men with squeaky voices, during one of their many lonely Saturday night runs at the lab. Sigh....
HealingMindN
5 / 5 (2) Jan 09, 2012
Does this mean I have to add to my list of official documents that I carry with me on a date?

*Yearly salary
*STD Test
*List of Previous GFs
*Sperm Count
ROBTHEGOB
3 / 5 (2) Jan 09, 2012
If you are trying to break through the Great Wall of China, would you rather have one big guy with a nuclear bomb, or 10,000 coolies with wooden spoons?
Skepticus
3 / 5 (2) Jan 10, 2012
Women look for tall, dark and handsome. Those chiseled features and that deep sexy voice have gained the attention of women for generations.

Who cares about offsprings now on this over-populated Earth? Women are attracted to those hunky dudes because they know they will have a screaming good time, and don't have to worry ( as much) about buns in the oven! Those buns are the responsibility of the docile men with high-pitched voices who are more suited to church marriages, stick around and actually raising the twerps, if they arrive. The females' biological and instinctual urges for rebellious genetic variations, in combination with a calculating mind always are the best for the health of the species...never mind about their marriages or partnership!
Aliensarethere
5 / 5 (2) Jan 10, 2012
"Look at the scatter plot they published, it's garbage. Absolute garbage. "

True.
RobertKarlStonjek
4 / 5 (3) Jan 10, 2012
Perhaps those boys with deep voices save their sperm for sex with actual females whereas the sopranos found a willing test tube the best offer they'd had in months?
Xbw
3 / 5 (2) Jan 10, 2012
If you are trying to break through the Great Wall of China, would you rather have one big guy with a nuclear bomb, or 10,000 coolies with wooden spoons?


Well the 10000 dudes would be much more entertaining.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.