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Scientists have cast new light on why some men have deeper voices than others. It was traditionally thought that males developed a lower pitched voice to attract members of the opposite sex. However, anthropologists at the American college Penn State believe a deep voice was to scare off other males. Researcher David Puts said: "In humans, and possibly other primates too, a low pitched voice evolved primarily to intimidate other men…to make males seem bigger and scarier." He added that: "Human male traits imply physical aggression and formidability and seem to provide competitive advantages in fighting or threatening other men more than they help attract women."

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The researchers at Penn State recorded more than 500 men and women speaking. They then played the recordings back to more than 1,100 different people of both sexes. Male volunteers rated each male recording for levels of dominance they perceived in the voices. The same recordings were rated by 15 female volunteers for romantic attractiveness. Men similarly rated the women's voices for attractiveness. Most of the men thought the lower-pitched male recordings belonged to a more dominant man. Dr Puts said women also liked lower-pitched voices, but the pattern of the women's ratings did not lead him to say that the deepness of the male voice was so important to females.



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