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Fertile women 'have sexier voice'

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    Thursday, 1 May 2008 01:36 UK Fertile women have sexier voice A woman s voice becomes more alluring when she is at her most fertile, according to US
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2008
      Thursday, 1 May 2008 01:36 UK

      Fertile women 'have sexier voice'

      A woman's voice becomes more alluring when she is at her most
      fertile, according to US research.

      Recordings of women taken at different points in their menstrual
      cycle were played to people of both sexes.

      New Scientist magazine reports that the voices rated as most
      attractive belonged to women at peak fertility.

      The study suggests sex hormones can alter the workings of the voice
      box, but the change may be too subtle to pick up in many situations.

      Human reproduction differs from reproduction in other mammals in that
      there are no obvious signs that a woman is at her fertile phase.

      However, scientists have suggested that very subtle changes caused by
      the rise and fall of different sex hormones can be detected by men,
      who then perhaps find a woman more attractive without necessarily
      even realising why.

      The latest research, from the State University of New York at Albany
      and originally published in the journal Human Evolution and Behavior,
      involved taking recordings of women counting from one to 10 at four
      points during the menstrual cycle and then played them back to male
      and female students.

      The missing link here is finding out how this works in plain
      conversation - in a bar, for example
      Dr David Feinberg
      McMaster University

      The recordings taken close to ovulation - the moment at which an egg
      is released and can be fertilised - were marked as more attractive
      than recordings of the same woman speaking earlier or later in her
      cycle.

      There was no effect if the woman was taking oral contraceptives,
      which change the ratio of sex hormones during the cycle.

      The researchers wrote: "More work is needed to identify the
      biological mechanisms that underlie these perceptual differences, but
      growing evidence points to the impact of hormones on the larynx as
      being the source of these changes."

      The researchers did not test the recordings to see if the woman was
      speaking with a higher or lower tone at different points in her
      cycle, and one leading voice-attraction researcher said that the
      subtle differences might not be practically useful in the real world.

      Dr David Feinberg, from the McMaster University in Canada, said: "The
      missing link here is finding out how this works in plain conversation
      - in a bar, for example.

      "While it's possible, the other issue is that women do have mood
      changes across their menstrual cycle, and people might just be
      attracted to a happy-sounding woman, rather than a fertile one."
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