Trying to sound sexy? Sorry, guys, you just don't have what it takes.

This has been a difficult year - scientifically - to be a man.  There has been myriad research published that says, essentially, men are superfluous.  Unnecessary. Unneeded.

Sigh.

In brief, here's some the conclusions reached in diligently pursued and vetted research:
  • Women make better members of boards of directors.  
    • Boards with women on them make a higher profit and are 20% less likely to fail.
  • Women owned businesses tend to last longer.  While making more money.
  • Women are far more socially and environmentally conscious.
  • Men play "power games", women focus on results.
  • Women focus on communication and relationships; men just want to get, uh, well, you know.
I'm sorry, this makes me depressed, so I'm going to stop the list.  The other people in the coffee shop are sure to notice me sitting in a corner, crying.

So now, here comes another massive blow to the male ego.  

Trying to sound sexier? Sorry, guys, it seems us men just don't have what it takes. 


Here's the story.  And guys, you may want to have a hankie in hand.  Just in case.

What happens when men try to 
manipulate our voice to attract a mate? 
Her voice is hot, his is not.

Suggested readingClick on image
New research suggests that men cannot intentionally make their voices sound more sexy or attractive, while women have little trouble. And true to the stereotype, women will lower their pitch and increase their hoarseness to dial up the allure.

"This ability may be due to culture and cuts across cultures and time," says Susan Hughes, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Albright College. "There is a stereotype of what is a sexual voice in our culture -- a low, breathy voice."

The research examines the patterns that emerge when men and women intentionally modify their voices to project four traits related to mate selection and competition -- sexiness, dominance, intelligence and confidence -- and how others perceive these manipulations.

For the study, 40 participants (20 men, 20 women) provided intentionally manipulated voice samples for the desired traits, plus a normal speech sample. Each sample consisted of participants counting from one to 10. Another 40 people assessed the degree to which each sample effectively projected the given trait.

The researchers found that women could make their voices sound more attractive, but men could not. "In fact, although not significantly, it got a bit worse when men tried to sound sexy," says Hughes.

The difference may be rooted in mate selection, the study says. Women know that men place greater emphasis on attractiveness when choosing a partner, and that voice attractiveness can predict physical attractiveness. Thus, it is beneficial for women to sound sexier to enhance their value to potential mates and to stave off competition from rival females.

Spectrogram analyses of the samples revealed that both sexes slowed their speech to sound sexy/attractive, while women also lowered their pitch and increased their hoarseness. Ironically, men prefer higher-pitch females, but a woman will signal her interest in a man by intentionally dropping her voice, said Hughes.

The study found that 
  • Both sexes can manipulate their voices to sound more intelligent. 
  • Women, however, could not sound more confident. 
  • Men could, but only when judged by female raters. This may be true, according to the study, because it's important for men to project confidence to women (and for women to perceive it), since confidence can indicate financial and personal success, which women value in a potential partner. 
  • Men, on the other hand, may be more attuned to detecting male posturing and more inclined to underrate their competition.
Researchers were surprised to find that both men and women could equally and effectively manipulate their voices to sound more dominant. This may indicate a cultural shift. As more women enter traditionally male-dominated roles and leadership positions, they may choose to modify their voices to sound more formidable. As example, the study points to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who received vocal training to sound more domineering when coming into office.

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Story Source: Materials provided by Albright College. Susan Hughes, Justin Mogilski, Marissa Harrison. The Perception and Parameters of Intentional Voice Manipulation. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 2014

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