The Influence of Male Voice Pitch on Women's Perceptions of Relationship Investment
J J M O' Connor, P J Fraccaro and D R Feinberg; 2012
The degree to which men invest financial resources, time, and effort into pursuing and maintaining relationships may be perceived by women as a cue to that man’s suitability as father and a mate. Women’s mate preferences are also influenced by cues to underlying heritable mate quality, such as an attractive, masculine voice. Relatively more masculine men may be able to provide heritable benefits to offspring, but masculinity is associated with decreased investment in relationships and offspring. Both individual differences in women’s preferences for masculine voices and women’s attributions of negative personality traits to masculine men suggests that women may be somewhat aware of the negative associations between men’s physical masculinity and relationship/parental investment. In the current study, we found that in general, women perceived feminized men’s voices as significantly more likely to invest time and effort, and be financially generous with romantic partners. We also found that women’s preferences for masculine voice pitch in a long-term, but not short-term relationship context, were positively related to perceptions of male financial generosity and investment of time and effort in romantic relationships. These perceptions may represent an adaptive heuristic that aids women in selecting long-term mates that are likely to invest in relationships and offspring.