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Deep-Voiced Men Have Lower Sperm Counts, Study Says: Does A Deep Voice Make A Man Attractive?

AvaC 2012/08/19 03:52:49
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Listen up, ladies: The deep timbre of a male
voice may sound attractive, but low-voiced men actually tend to have
lower sperm counts, a new study says.

Multiple
studies have found that women usually favor masculine features, such as
prominent jaws, high muscle mass, and low-pitched voices.

The
theory is that these traits signal a high-quality mate—for instance,
it's been proposed that masculine men generally have more robust amounts
of sperm.

But the new research revealed that, while deep voices
are attractive to women, low-pitched men actually tended to have lower
concentrations of sperm in their ejaculate.

(Find out how a man produces 1,500 sperm a second.)

The
finding suggests that men who evolutionarily invest most of their
energy into making themselves attractive to females may suffer
deficiencies in other areas—in this case, sperm counts.

For instance, the male hormone testosterone—which lowers voice pitch—can thwart sperm production, according to study leader Leigh Simmons, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Western Australia.

Measuring Sperm Counts

For the study, Simmons and colleagues recruited 54 heterosexual men and 30 heterosexual women from a college campus.

The
team recorded the voices of the male volunteers, then asked the female
volunteers to rate the men's voices in terms of attractiveness and
masculinity. Not surprisingly, the women rated deep voices as most
alluring.

(See "Women Prefer Men With Yellow, Red Faces.")

Each
male volunteer then collected a semen sample "in the privacy of their
own home and returned it to the lab for analysis," Simmons said via
email.

The samples were entered into a computer-assisted
sperm-analysis system, or its ability to swim toward its target, the
egg—as well as the number of sperm in the semen.

The analysis
showed that men with more attractive voices did not have better sperm
quality than those with less desirable voices.

In fact, Simmons
noted, the sperm from the deep-voiced men were "perfectly motile" and
fertile—there were just fewer sperm cells in the ejaculate.

Masculine Traits Evolved for Other Men?

An overriding question in this kind of research is why characteristically masculine traits evolved in people.

"In
our evolutionary past, [masculine] men would have had greater
reproductive success, leading to sexual dimorphism [differences between
men and women] in voices, faces, bodies, etcetera," said Simmons, whose
study appeared December 21 in the journal PLoS ONE.

"This
is all very well researched in non-human animals—think of elk or
peacocks. But we know less about our own evolutionary history."

(Related: "Valentine's Science—Why Gauging Sexiness Is Sophisticated.")

Masculinity is also important in competing with other men, Simmons emphasized. Evolutionary psychologist Laura Dane agreed.

"It's
equally likely (if not more likely) that males, in general, have bigger
and more muscular bodies as well as lower-pitched voices because they
had to compete with other males for dominance and status," Dane, of Douglas College in Canada, said by email.

In
fact, a woman's preference for masculinity may be a byproduct of her
interest in finding a dominant mate—someone who would offer the best
protection for her and her family.

The new study also fits into
the idea that masculinity may have a role beyond attracting females, she
added, a topic currently under investigation.

"If masculine
traits lead to higher dominance/status positions—even at the expense of
some level of sperm quality—then the trade-off between masculine traits
and fertility makes more sense," she said.


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Opinions

  • Cricket 2012/08/25 17:01:08
    Yes
    Cricket
    +1
    Great!
  • KingdomNow 2012/08/19 07:00:16
    Yes
    KingdomNow
    +1
    Quality over quantity -How much sperm do you really want?
  • AvaC KingdomNow 2012/08/19 14:26:13
    AvaC
    Haha, point taken!
  • Flamingolady 2012/08/19 04:27:58
    Yes
    Flamingolady
    +1
    Not much to do with deep voice, but here is what makes a man attractive. 35 years since he died, and yet here he is so unbelievably attractive. 35 years gone and still......
  • AvaC Flaming... 2012/08/19 04:30:14
    AvaC
    Not the biggest fan of Elvis but I definitely understand what you're saying.
  • L1 2012/08/19 04:15:35
    Yes
    L1
    +1
    Well, I like it, but this is the first I've ever heard that it means a low sperm count...
  • AvaC L1 2012/08/19 04:18:31
    AvaC
    +1
    Same here. I stumbled upon on while on the National Geographic page and decided to share it here.
  • L1 AvaC 2012/08/19 04:19:36
    L1
    +1
    Thanks. I appreciate that.
  • AvaC L1 2012/08/19 04:20:57
    AvaC
    +1
    You're welcome. :)
  • OhMyMeow 2012/08/19 04:11:30
    Yes
    OhMyMeow
    +1
    Personally, I love it if a man looks feminine but you can tell it's a man by the body build and voice.
  • AvaC OhMyMeow 2012/08/19 04:13:31
    AvaC
    Fair enough. I prefer a man to be masculine in all aspects.

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