- Publish Date
- Thursday, 20 December 2018, 2:53PM
For ages, dating experts have written about the subtle body language cues to look for when trying to determine if a potential mate is into you.
But research released now indicates the major sign of sexual chemistry when people meet for the first time is to do with the voice.
Anthropologists from the UK's University of Sussex trawled speed dating events and recorded potential matches chatting to see if there were patterns they could identify.
Lead author Dr Katarzyna Pisanski said men were found to lower the pitch of their voice when they found someone they wanted to see again in the future — and the tone deepened even further if the lady was particularly desirable.
"Women spoke in a higher-pitched and less monotone voice on speed dates with men they chose as potential mates," Dr Pisanski said.
However, if they sensed that a man was in strong demand, the higher-pitched vocals switched to significantly deeper pitches.
"Several studies suggest that a lower pitch in women is perceived as attractive or 'sexy'," Dr Pisanski said.
"Women with relatively high-pitched voices are typically perceived as more feminine, younger and more attractive than are women with low-pitched voices. By contrast, women with low-pitched voices are consistently judged as more dominant, competent and mature.
"The trade-off implied by this dichotomy suggests that women may raise their voice pitch to signal youth and femininity, but lower their pitch in contexts where they wish … to indicate sexual interest to a listener."
When there's less competition, a woman's voice tends to be higher-pitched, but when the stakes are high it went deeper, the research suggested.
The men in the samples were found to prefer those women with deeper voices, suggesting why we change vocal behaviour to attract potential mates.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.