Huge biceps, washboard abs, a Hollywood smile or an impeccable dress sense; these are all factors we not only believe make us more attractive, but are also ones that we can control.
But no matter how much effort we put into making ourselves look good on the outside, there’s another factor we may have forgotten about, which could also impact your dating life. That factor? Your voice.
That’s right: a recent study has found some evidence to suggest the sound of your voice, and the degree to which you mumble, could be the deciding factor as to whether you woo someone on a night out or not.
The study – which was recently published in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (via BestLifeOnline) at the end of August 2021 – recruited 42 participants (male and female) to record a series of vocal exercises, which were then played back to another group of participants – men were played recordings of women and vice versa – who then rated the voice tone on a scale, based on how attractive it sounded.
The research team wanted to focus specifically on what is known as vowel space area, which defines how far apart the vowels are when someone speaks. The consensus is the further apart, the more easily understandable one’s voice and speech is. Sarah Hargus, one of the researchers involved in the study, explained to MailOnline, “The vowel space area reflects how far away, for example, ‘beet’ is from ‘bit,’ and ‘bet’ is from ‘bait.’ The smaller a talker’s vowel space, the less acoustically distinct the various vowels are from each other.” The participants’ attractiveness ratings were then compared against their vocal clarity.
The study ultimately found that men who mumbled more, i.e. i.e. those who had a smaller vowel space, were found to be more attractive to women.
The research team theorised that a man who mumbles will tend to have a lower voice note, and this, to women at least, could be viewed subconsciously as a greater sign of masculinity. Conversely, the researchers also interpreted from the data that men who enunciated more, were perceived to be less sexually attractive, most likely because clear speech can be associated with femininity.
Relationship expert Samantha Jayne weighed in on the findings, telling DMARGE, “ At first I thought ‘no way’, I personally prefer well spoken, articulate men with clear speech however in saying that one of the most successful men I knew was a ‘Mumbler’ as many educated, intelligent men.. so there is something in this..”
”However, upon further reflection, I think it’s true.”
“Mumbling men are more attractive due to evolutionary developments, because the mumble is considered more masculine or macho interestingly though the opposite is true for women.”
”Men seem to prefer women who enunciate clearly. Perhaps this is what differentiates men and women like masculine and feminine energy polarities. The more opposite they are to each other the more sex appeal.”
“When you think about it, to mumble you need to lower your voice and a lower voice is considered sexy and associated with high levels of testosterone. Think about James Bond, he is the ultimate mumbler.”
“As he says, ‘Bond, James Bond’ it’s technically a mumble, his speech pitch is as low as it gets, vs if he were to say in a clear voice that sounds like he has had elocution lessons ‘Bond, James Bond’ would sound weird and it wouldn’t have the same impact.”
As a side note, we guarantee you read those in a different tone of voice, such is the wonder of the brain.
As for whether your voice can genuinely be a deciding factor with regard to someone finding you attractive or not, Samantha is certainly in the former camp.
“I think someone’s voice is an important factor when it comes to attraction. It’s one of our main senses and some people are more sensitive to auditory especially if it’s their preferred modality.”
”Think of all the times you will be hearing a person’s voice, on the phone, during conversations, in the morning night time whispers so if a person’s voice is unattractive to you it’s going to be a problem!”
Don’t forget though, even if you do have a super soothing voice à la Barry White, it shouldn’t mean you can forget the notion of good dress sense. You’ve got to make a good impression before you even open your mouth, after all.