Social Question

HungryGuy's avatar

Is there any evolutionary reason why women have a higher pitched voice than men?

Asked by HungryGuy (16008points) May 28th, 2011

Just curious…

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11 Answers

incendiary_dan's avatar

I’ve heard that infants react better to higher voices because they can hear them better. Apparently that’s how baby-talk started. Otherwise, I guess it’s just testosterone levels.

crisw's avatar

High-pitched voices are related to estrogen levels and thus serve as a fertility signal. The same is true of testosterone and low voices in men.

HungryGuy's avatar

@incendiary_dan and @crisw – Thanks! Is there any chemical or biological explanation how estrogen and testosterone affects the tension/pressure under which the vocal chords are put?

LuckyGuy's avatar

I know I look when I hear a higher pitched voice. I can ignore low pitch easily.

(I also look when I hear the click-clack of high heels. Can’t help it.)

lloydbird's avatar

The cute factor?

I’m not sure how attracted I would be to a woman a woman that sounded like Barry White.

HungryGuy's avatar

@crisw – Makes sense! That’s why boys and girls both have high pitched voices, and boys voices change… Thanks!

lloydbird's avatar

Oops! Typing stutter.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I have heard a great deal about the concept of sexual dimorphism. It states a subtle external trait that implies male or female in our earliest ancestors would, over time, become exaggerated in a sort of arms race.

@crisw is right, but the effect was likely very slight initially. But in every generation, a high pitched voice was considered feminine and attractive. And in every generation, a deep voice was considered the opposite, strong and manly and virile. They are self re-enforcing mechanisms, making each generation of women have higher voices and men have deeper ones.

Women with long flowing hair are considered sexy. You see its opposite in male pattern baldness.

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