The Phoenix

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sexy Voice = Sexy Looks?

It seems people don't just take physical looks into consideration when concluding if a potential mate is hot or not. In a recent study published in The Journal of Nonverbal Behavior (gee, that sounds like an exciting read) Susan Hughes found a strong correlation between what's considered a "sexy voice" and a physically attractive person.

"The sound of a person's voice reveals a considerable amount of biological information," said Hughes, an evolutionary psychologist from Albright College in Reading, Pa. "It can reflect the mate value of a person."

100 individuals listened to voice samples and rated them on nine traits: approachability, dominance, healthiness, honesty, intelligence, likelihood to get dates, maturity, sexiness and warmth.

Interestingly, the voices that rated the highest generally were considered attractive for their respective sex. Men were broad-shouldered and had lean hips, the women had hourglass figures. The sexy voice champs from both sexes also had very attractive faces (symmetrical).

Participants also agreed about certain vocal attributes that they found attractive (i.e. men found breathy voices sexy). But when Hughes analyzed her voice samples using a sophisticated computer program, she was unable to pinpoint the actual patterns of sexiness. In other words, the human ear was able to discern what's hot, while the computer couldn't find any technical reason why.

I'm skeptical of this study. I know plenty of people that look attractive, but have horrible voices. Also, there are lots of ugly people that sound incredible on the phone. When I was in high school, I worked at a marketing research firm and did telephone surveys. There was one guy that always ended up with the most completed surveys, night after night. His voice was deep and smooth like velvet. If you heard it, it would make you stop. But after you turned the corner and looked into his cubicle, you would see a guy that made John Belushi look like Brad Pitt.

Plus, think about all of those radio personalities. Ever see pictures of your favorite host or DJ after listening to their sexy voice for years? Talk about a ruined fantasy. That's where that old saying "you have the face for radio" comes from.

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Anonymous kim said...

There's a reason people say "you have a face for radio."

7/21/2008 12:10 AM  
Blogger delmer said...

When I have a really good head cold working I sound like Lou Rawls. Unfortunately, it's hard to chat up women with snot running down your face.

(I'll bet Darth was a pretty good pickup artist. It's a shame they didn't do anything with that storyline in Star Wars.)

7/21/2008 7:07 AM  
Blogger angel, jr. said...

Yeah, I'm not so sure there is a correlation. What about those phone sex chicks--I have always wondered what they really look like--not that I ever tried calling one.

7/21/2008 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sexy voice so doesn't equal sexy looks. I remember this guy from when I was 18. Long greasy hair, white socks that were so dirty they were grey. Nice guy but not the best looking one. He phoned me one day and I was all "Who is this?" And I didn't believe him when he told me. That was the sexiest phone voice. Ever. Rrrawr.

7/21/2008 12:12 PM  
Blogger KC said...

Know any guys with a British accent? Have them call me. No matter what they look like, I'll think they are the sexiest men on earth just because of the accent. Rawrr!

7/21/2008 3:13 PM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

kim, Thanks! i knew i got that saying wrong. I fixed it on my post.

delmer, Lou Rawls? Why did i suddenly get the image of him on the Love Boat? Was he ever on The Pacific Princess???

angel, i recall a funny episode on jerry springer where the phone sex operator posing as some hot chick was actually some big fat black dude.

jenn, Too bad you saw him FIRST.

kc, When I find one, i'll send him over your way for sure.

7/21/2008 9:51 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

Yeah, I'm not sure I buy this either. Anyone can fake a half-way decent sexy voice, at least for a little while. Who knows if those voice samples were "enhanced"?

7/21/2008 11:14 PM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

This is sooo true. I first fell in love with myself because of my smooth voice.

7/22/2008 6:09 PM  
Blogger stephanie said...

A good voice can make or break anyone.

7/24/2008 9:16 AM  
Blogger Dear Jane said...

hi phoenix...just stopping by to say hello...

I am no scientist, but I would venture that confidence has a LOT to do with what people perceive as a 'sexy' voice...

So which is it? The person is confident & 'appears' more attractive? Or the person is more attractive & therefore 'appears' more confident?

I dunno, but I do think confidence and sexiness go hand in hand...

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods. :)

7/24/2008 9:43 AM  
Blogger ozymandiaz said...

Yea, just take a look at the classic movie "The Man with two Brains". There is a scene where Steve Martin's character finds a REALLY hot woman for the brain of his love to be put into but he couldn't use her because her voice was worse than Fran Drescher, speaking of good body bad voice...
Fran Drescher.

7/25/2008 12:17 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

Voices are incredibly deceptive. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've made an incorrect judgement of a person based on how their voice sounded over the phone. I once went out on a blind date with a guy because his voice sounded handsome.

Big mistake!

He had a tattoo, hair down to his butt, and a black spot between his two front teeth. Yikes!

7/28/2008 8:47 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Phoenix -- when did you come back -- did the aliens let you go or are you a clone? welcome back!!!!!!!! you big fan jim

7/28/2008 9:54 PM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

About once a year, I lose my voice and it gets all raspy. The Peanut King LOVES it when that happens...he calls it my sexy voice.

And I'm with KC on this one...a British accent automatically gives a guy an extra five points on the hottness scale! ;)

8/01/2008 8:18 AM  
Blogger Phats said...

This is an interesting study. I have heard people on the radio with good voices and then they look like dogs.

I am glad I have someone and don't have to worry about the whole dating thing anymore

8/07/2008 2:32 PM  
Blogger DaBich said...

Phoenix, you have a sexy voice...


9/11/2008 4:41 AM  

I haven't seen you around the Blogosphere lately. I hope that all is going well for you.

9/11/2008 3:54 PM  
Anonymous Dino said...

Heard you were in a car accident last month. I hope you're doing OK.

IM me and I'll give the Chapter your update.


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