The Role of Femininity and Averageness of Voice Pitch in Aesthetic Judgments of Women's Voices
- § School of Psychology, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 2UB, Scotland, UK
- # University of Aberdeen
- ↵¶ All correspondence should be addressed to: David R Feinberg, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1, Canada; e-mail:
Although averageness is preferred in auditory stimuli (eg music) and non-face objects (eg wristwatches), exaggerated feminine characteristics are preferred to averageness in female faces. To establish whether or not men prefer femininity in female voices to average characteristics, we conducted a correlational study (study 1) to assess the relationship between voice pitch and attractiveness ratings. We found a positive linear relationship between voice pitch and attractiveness ratings. In study 2 we manipulated pitch in women's voices with low (lower than average), average, and high (higher than average) starting pitches and gauged men's preferences. Men preferred women's voices with raised pitch for all levels of starting pitch. These findings suggest that men prefer high voice pitch to average voice pitch in women's voices.
- Received September 21, 2005.
- Revision received June 11, 2007.
- © 2008 SAGE Publications