Stereotypes 101, Part II: Women Prefer Big Men with Deeper Voices (and Men Prefer the Opposite in Women)

Okay, we’ve established that women find men with heavy stubble most attractive and men with full beards as the most masculine and best-suited for fatherhood. women prefer men with deep voicesSince you’re going to be shaving less, consider spending all that free time working on dropping your voice an octave or two. Turns out that women prefer men with husky, breathy voices. Men, on the other hand, prefer women with higher-pitched, breathy voices.

In the animal kingdom, there is a general correlation between voice and body size, with deeper sounds often predicting large animals and higher voices being associated with smaller body size. And in a study just published in the journal PLOS ONE, researcher British researcher Yi Xu and his team found that the same voice-to-body-size rule applies to humans. You can read more about this study here.

But what’s the deal with breathiness? Of course, there’s no way to tell for sure, but Xu suspects that men’s breathiness “could be a way of neutralizing the aggressiveness associated with a large body size.” Women’s breathiness—think Marilyn Monroe—may indicate “friendliness and submission,” qualities Xu believes men find attractive.

Another study, this one done two years ago, also found that women rate deep voices as being particularly masculine and attractive. But the researchers suspected that a deep voice may be nature’s way of giving women a tool to rate men’s quality as mates and fathers. To test that theory, they analyzed the quality of men’s semen. They found that men with lower-pitched voices didn’t have better semen quality. In fact, the men whose voices were rated as more attractive “tended to have lower concentrations of sperm in their ejaculate.” Read an abstract here.

Armin Brott

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Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.
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