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Women more likely to recall what men with deep voices say: study

Actor James Earl Jones

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Cue up the James Earl Jones: A new British study demonstrates that women not only prefer deep male voices to high pitched ones, they pay more attention to what they say.

Led by David Smith, a PhD student at the University of Aberdeen, the study showed women's memory is sensitive to men's voice pitch, which is a significant factor in mate choice because it can hint at testosterone levels and genetic quality, evolutionary psychologists suggest.

In two experiments, researchers showed 91 women images of objects and had them listen as male and female voices of various pitches described the objects. In both cases, women showed a strong preference for the low-pitched male voice, remembering objects more accurately when they had been described by that voice.

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"Our findings demonstrate that women's memory is enhanced with lower pitch male voices, compared with the less attractive raised pitch male voices," Mr. Smith said in a release.

(Sorry Chris Rock and Gilbert Gottfried.)

"We think this is evidence that evolution has shaped women's ability to remember information associated with desirable men," his colleague Kevin Allan continued.

Findings released earlier this year by researchers at McMaster University suggest that even as women are more drawn to a deep pitch, they're also more likely to suspect rumbling-voiced men of infidelity.

"Lower-pitched men's voices are not only rated as more attractive, but are associated with a greater number of reported sexual partners, and greater reproductive success than are higher-pitched men's voices," those researchers wrote.

Maybe put on some Barry White instead?

Editor's note: David Smith was incorrectly identified in the original version of this story. This version has been corrected.

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