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Study: tone of voice linked to perceptions of potential infidelity

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Researchers from McMaster University in Canada, in the first-ever study examining the correlation between voice pitch and perceived infidelity, found that women sizing up a prospective mate believe the lower the man's voice, the more likely he is to stray. Conversely, men believe women with higher voices are likelier to be two timin'.

Lead author Jillian O'Connor broke it down like this:

"In terms of sexual strategy, we found that men and women will use voice pitch as a warning sign of future betrayal. So the more attractive the voice, the more likely the chances he or she will cheat. This suggests that through the evolutionary process, we have learned ways to avoid partners who may be unfaithful as a protection mechanism."

So you wonder how Barry White and James Earl Jones ever got a date.

The study, published in the online journal Evolutionary Psychology, involved participants listening to two different versions of recorded clips of both a male and female voice electronically manipulated to be both higher and lower in pitch. The volunteers were then asked to pick which voice was more likely to cheat. According to Professor David Feiberg, an adviser on the study, "High levels of these hormones (testosterone and estrogen) 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." So based on these findings, a man who sounds like a woman married to, or dating, a woman who sounds like a man must be the most stable, suspicion-free relationship going.