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7 March 2011
Voice pitch triggers adultery suspicions
by George Atkinson

Women believe the lower a man's voice, the more likely it is that he's going to cheat on them; while men believe that women with higher voices are more likely to be unfaithful, say researchers from McMaster University. The study, in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, is the first to examine the link between voice pitch and perceived infidelity and offers intriguing insights into how we choose our mates.

"We found that men and women will use voice pitch as a warning sign of future betrayal. So the more attractive the voice - a higher pitch for women and lower pitch for men - the more likely the chances he or she will cheat," explained Jillian O'Connor, the lead author of the study.

The subjects in the study were asked to listen to two versions of recorded clips from a male voice and a female voice, which were electronically manipulated to be both higher and lower in pitch. They were then asked which one, from each pair, was more likely to cheat sexually on their romantic partner.

"The reason voice pitch influences perceptions of cheating is likely due to the relationship between pitch, hormones and infidelity," explains McMaster's David Feinberg, an advisor on the study. "Men with higher testosterone levels have lower pitched voices, and women with higher estrogen levels have higher pitched voices. High levels of [either of] these hormones are associated with adulterous behavior and our findings indicate individuals are somewhat aware of the link and may use this in their search for a romantic partner."

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Source: McMaster University

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