The role of femininity and averageness of voice pitch in aesthetic judgments of women's voices

David R. Feinberg, Lisa DeBruine, Benedict Christopher Jones, David I. Perrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Citations (Scopus)


Although averageness is preferred in auditory stimuli (eg music) and non-face objects (eg wristwatches), exaggerated feminine characteristics are preferred to averageness in female faces. To establish whether or not men prefer femininity in female voices to average characteristics, we conducted a correlational study (study 1) to assess the relationship between voice pitch and attractiveness ratings. We found a positive linear relationship between voice pitch and attractiveness ratings. In study 2 we manipulated pitch in women's voices with low (lower than average), average, and high (higher than average) starting pitches and gauged men's preferences. Men preferred women's voices with raised pitch for all levels of starting pitch. These findings suggest that men prefer high voice pitch to average voice pitch in women's voices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-623
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Early online date12 Mar 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • facial attractiveness
  • faces
  • quality

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