Can you predict your mate will cheat by their voice?

March 4, 2011, McMaster University

When choosing a partner, women believe the lower the man's voice, the more likely he's going to cheat. Conversely, men think a woman with a higher voice is more likely to be unfaithful, researchers have found.

The study, published in the latest edition of the online journal is the first to examine the link between voice pitch and perceived infidelity and offers insight into the of the human voice and how we choose our mates.

"In terms of sexual strategy, we found that men and women will use voice pitch as a warning sign of future betrayal. So the more attractive the voice—a higher pitch for women and lower pitch for men—the more likely the chances he or she will cheat," says Jillian O'Connor, a graduate student in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University and lead author of the study.

"Infidelity is costly with the emotional impact, financial costs and potential loss of the family unit. But this suggests that through the evolutionary process, we have learned ways to avoid partners who may be unfaithful as a protection mechanism," she says.

Participants in the study were asked to listen to two versions of recorded clips from a male voice and a female voice, which were electronically manipulated to be both higher and lower in pitch. They were then asked which one, from each pair, was more likely to cheat sexually on their romantic partner.

"The reason voice pitch influences perceptions of cheating is likely due to the relationship between pitch, hormones and infidelity," explains David Feinberg, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour and advisor on the study. "Men with higher testosterone levels have lower pitched voices, and women with higher estrogen levels have higher pitched voices. High levels of these hormones are associated with adulterous behaviour and our findings indicate individuals are somewhat aware of the link and may use this in their search for a romantic partner."

More information: For a full copy of the study, please visit: dailynews.mcmaster.ca/images/Voiceperceptions.pdf

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9 comments

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wealthychef
3 / 5 (1) Mar 04, 2011
There is a typo in the summary. Anyhow, this is pretty obvious and silly research. If you have something more attractive, you are more concerned about losing it than something less attractive. Why shouldn't this apply to a mate as well?
JRDarby
4.7 / 5 (3) Mar 04, 2011
A higher pitched voice in females is correlated with higher fertility. A woman's voice will increase in pitch while she is at the peak of her menstrual cycle. Likewise, in men a lower voice is related to higher testosterone levels. Both are indicators of a greater likeliness to cheat--except in the case of some women. Studies have shown that women who are committed to their male partner will be *less* likely to cheat at the most fertile point in their menstrual cycle than at other points all else the same.
damnfuct
1 / 5 (1) Mar 04, 2011
So I guess giant males are really unfaithful, and giant females are really faithful?
Odin
1 / 5 (1) Mar 04, 2011
0.o people really have nothing better to research? why don't you just find a person that won't cheat periode? what if you have a voice box problems?
this research is ridiculus
Physmet
4 / 5 (1) Mar 04, 2011
I thought about this differently. During the dating process, men speak higher than normal when trying to woo ("that's REALLY interesting sweety..."). When they're not taking as active an involvement, they become more laid back and their speaking voice is relaxed and drops ("mmm...that's cool...").

For women, I'm not so sure. Maybe when women are talking to you in a high (shrill?) voice, you know you're in trouble? haha
Deadbolt
1 / 5 (1) Mar 04, 2011
If testosterone is responsible for voice pitch and sexual vigor in males, then why is it possible for there to be so many promiscuous effeminate sounding gay men?

It's not like they have loads of estrogen, is it?
sherriffwoody
not rated yet Mar 05, 2011
its more natural to be with many than with one, this is a recent development in human society. just look at how the majority of mammals live. Its a very beneficial way to spread the seed with a good mix of genes. better for the species
LivaN
not rated yet Mar 10, 2011
its more natural to be with many than with one, this is a recent development in human society. just look at how the majority of mammals live. Its a very beneficial way to spread the seed with a good mix of genes. better for the species


It is not more natural to have many mates; rather it was more of an advantage in past times. Now it is detrimental to have more than one mate.
Deadbolt
1 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2011
Polygamy is only an advantage to alpha males. If a man was a powerful enough chieftain to have 30 wives, then assuming the male-female population is the same, 29 less powerful men go without completely.

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