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Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Voices – the mirror of our masculinity (or femininity)

5 November 2015


A former girlfriend just left me some voice messages as I unblocked her some weeks ago. I am fighting my curiosity to listen to them. I like her voice. It’s a deep, brown voice. I like such voices. I don’t like these high female voices. I am attracted to lower female voices. I had already planned this topic before these voice messages arrived but I didn’t really know how to start this blog until now. Voices are far more important than we think. Subconsciously we judge people by them.

Let’s start with a major misunderstanding: Our voice has nothing to do with the words – or language – that we speak. We use our voices to impress or to scare people and often it is fully automatic. During arguments or fights, our voices get higher. Our voices are different when we talk to a man or a woman – even if our words are exactly the same. When our eyes are the mirror of our soul then our voice is probably the mirror of our masculinity – or femininity for women.

Quite recently a weird scientific fact was published: “Howler Monkeys Have a Deep Voice or Big Balls But Not Both” (e.g., BBC, NYT, PBS, PT, Science). NYT: “No offense to tenors, but outside of opera, a high male voice is seldom, if ever, considered seductive. Scientific research has shown that women find deep male voices attractive, and the same is true in other species, like howler monkeys. But evolution is often stingy in its gifts, and researchers investigating male competition to reproduce have discovered an intriguing trade-off in some species of howler monkeys: the deeper the call, the smaller the testicles”.

Our voice is not only important in dating but also in the work place and in sports. Latter has a perfect and impressive example: the pre-match “haka” ritual performed by the All Blacks, New Zealand’s rugby team. DailyMail: “That show, of course, is the haka, respected and feared by rugby nations around the world, as enticing to the seasoned supporter as the first-time fan”. (YouTube)

In the work place we tend to associate a voice with intelligence. PsychologyToday: In the workplace, too, the quality of your voice can be a deciding factor in your degree of success. The pitch, timbre, volume, speed, and cadence of your voice, the speed with which you speak, and even the way you modulate pitch and loudness, are all hugely influential factors in how convincing you are, and how people judge your state of mind, and character.

Scientists have developed fascinating computer tools that allow them to determine the influence of voice alone, devoid of content. The result: speakers with higher-pitched voices were judged to be less truthful, less emphatic, less potent, and more nervous than speakers with lower pitched voices. Also, slower-talking speakers were judged to be less truthful, less persuasive, and more passive than people who spoke faster. So fast-talking may be a cliché trait of a sleazy salesman, but chances are, a little speed-up will make you sound smarter and more convincing. And if two speakers utter exactly the same words, but one speaks a little faster and louder and with fewer pauses and greater variation in volume, that speaker will be judged to be more energetic, knowledgeable and intelligent. (PT)

I have been long aware of the power of a voice and thus I actively “tweak” my voice to accommodate the circumstances. In some conversations with women, I use my “Barry White” voice and it actually works well. It’s entirely possible to go from subconscious use to conscious use. The voice make-over of Margaret Thatcher is a perfect example (BBC, PsychologyToday, Telegraph, YouTube).

The following quotes are great but actually the Voice below is superior.

Frank Sinatra a.k.a. The Voice – It Was a Very Good Year (1966) – Wiki


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