5-speed listening (Level 5)

Men developed deep voices to scare other men






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Scientists have new ideas about why some men have deeper voices. It was thought that men developed a lower pitched voice to attract members of the opposite sex. However, scientists at an American university believe a deep voice was to scare off other men. Researcher David Puts said: "In humans…a low pitched voice evolved primarily to intimidate other men…to make males seem bigger and scarier." He added that male characteristics were more to show aggression, threaten others and provide a competitive edge in fighting than to help attract women.

The researchers played recordings of 500 men and women to more than 1,100 different people of both sexes. Male volunteers rated each male voice for levels of dominance. Women rated the same recordings for romantic attractiveness. Men also rated the women's voices for attractiveness. Most of the men thought the deeper voices in the male recordings belonged to a more dominant man. Dr Puts said women also liked deeper voices. However, he said the pattern of the women's ratings did not suggest that the deepness of the male voice was so important to females.

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