Hearing management

Updated 30 November 2017

A fertile woman’s voice makes men go wild

Sexy voice sending shivers down your spine? New research suggests that a woman's fertility can affect just how much your skin tingles when you hear her voice.


It’s no secret that some women have the power to woo men with nothing more than words. Throughout history, men have found themselves attracted the sexy voices of women such as Marilyn Monroe and Scarlett Johansson, amongst others.

Our body gives off clues

Whilst this is common knowledge to most, a newer finding that men are most attracted to a woman’s voice when she is at her most fertile suggests that our body gives off clues in our quest for the perfect mate.

A 2014 study by James Madison University, published in Physiology and Behaviour suggests that men are likely to find the voice of a woman more attractive when she is at the most fertile stage of her monthly cycle. The study employed three aspects to measure the men’s response to the voices: a rating scale, differences in heart rate and changes in galvanic skin response. Galvanic skin response, also known as electro dermal response, refers to the phenomenon where the skin becomes a better conductor of electricity in response to an arousing stimulus, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology explains. 

Results show that when men listened to the voice of a woman at her most fertile, they rated her as more attractive, experienced an increase in heart rate and also experienced increased galvanic skin responses (GSR).

A pertinent finding is that homosexual women showed similar results to the heterosexual men when listening to the voice of a fertile woman.

Your voice gives away clues about your sexuality

What is more interesting is that when listening to the voice of a woman on birth control, both homosexual women and heterosexual men rated the woman as less attractive and experienced minimal changes in heart rate and galvanic skin responses, even when the woman on birth control was at a more fertile stage of her cycle.

Men are more attracted to women with higher-pitched and breathy voices, as these seem to indicate smaller body size, a study published in Plos One suggests.

Further research indicates that women who sound attractive usually are. A 2014 study published in Evolution and Human Behaviour shows that more often than not, ladies with attractive voices have faces that are more symmetrical – a major factor that influences how attractive a person is to others. It is believed that this attraction is due to the fact that facial symmetry indicates good genes.

These studies, amongst others, suggest that, as humans, we transmit important details about our health, fertility and sexuality through our voices. This information is all processed by those around us and helps them to determine whether or not they view us as a suitable mate.  

This would all work out quite well for us if we were perhaps conscious of it and the reaction wasn’t one-sided. Even if you did realise that the sexy voice on the radio is making you hot under the collar, there is no guarantee that the woman uttering those lust-worthy words will feel the same way about you.

Read more:

Do men with deeper voices have more children?
You perceive your spouse's voice more clearly than others

Are men with deep voices more likely to cheat?

Image: Close-up face of beautiful young woman from Shutterstock


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Hearing Expert

Dr Kara Hoffman graduated from UCT in 2004, thereafter she completed her year of community service in Durban. In 2010 she completed her Masters Degree in Paediatric Aural Rehabilitation from UKZN. In 2016, she became a Doctor of Audiology through the University of Arizona (ATSU). Dr Hoffman and her partner Lauren Thompson opened a fully diagnostic audiology practice called Thompson & Hoffman Audiology Inc. In 2011 with world-class technology and equipment to be able to offer the broad public all hearing-related services including hearing testing for adults and babies, vestibular (balance) assessments and rehabilitation, industrial audiology, hearing devices, central auditory processing assessments for school-aged children, school screening, neonatal hearing screening programmes at Alberlito and Parklands Hospital, cochlear implants and other implantable devices, medicolegal assessments and advanced electroacoustic assessments of hearing. Thompson and Hoffman Audiology Inc. are based at Alberlito Hospital in Ballito, St Augustines Hospital in Durban and at 345 Essenwood Road, Musgrave. The practices are all wheelchair friendly. There are three audiologists that practice from Thompson & Hoffman – including Dr Kara Hoffman, Lauren Thompson & Minette Lister. The practice boasts professional, highly qualified, and extensive diagnostic services where all your hearing healthcare needs can be met. The additional licensing in vestibular assessment and rehabilitation, paediatric rehabilitation and cochlear implantation places this practice in one of the top specialist audiological positions in South Africa, with a wealth of experience in all clinical areas of audiology and is a very well respected and sought-after practice.

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