WELLNESS
03/15/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Sound Of Love: How Voice Influences Attraction

We often think of a deep baritone voice as a sexy one, but it seems too cliché to think that a romantically-inclined crooner like Barry White would actually look the part. Yet, although most people's voices don't seem to strike a chord one way or the other, research has shown that a person's voice can influence whether others find him alluring or unattractive. But once you connect the face with the voice, does the sound actually correspond to a knockout--or a letdown?

The Sound of Good Looking
Just as symmetry and scent are important yet subtle indicators of genetic fitness, a person's voice can also give clues to his reproductive ability. For instance, it's no myth that good looking men often have deep voices. A study done at Northumbria University in the UK recorded men speaking and had both men and women rate their voices based on attractiveness, dominance, confidence, and sexiness. The listeners then looked at photos of the men and rated them. Researchers found that men with deep voices were rated higher than those with high voices and the deep voices also corresponded to more attractive faces.

Voices can gives clues to physical characteristics and listeners might be better at relating the two traits than they think they are. A 2002 study showed that people are able to match a speaker's voice with a photograph over 75 percent of the time and that those people with symmetrical traits (a sign of genetic fitness) were rated as having more attractive voices.

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