the hint of passion in many a hot-blooded male.
Seductive Scarlett Johansson has a famous sultry voice
But, hang on a minute, is she as good looking in the flesh as her sexy voice would have you think?
Scientists believe they have found evidence to prove women with sexy voices really are more
likely to have attractive facial qualities such as higher cheekbones, softer jaw lines and fuller lips.
And their faces are usually symmetrical, supposedly a tell-tale sign of good genes. New
research goes some way to explaining why women with famously sultry voices, such as actresses
Michelle Pfeiffer and Scarlett Johansson, look just as attractive as they sound.
Scientists at the University of Vienna in Austria photographed 42 female students and recorded
them speaking normally. Their voices were then played to a panel of men and those who were
deemed to sound more attractive generally were when seen in the flesh.
The findings have led researchers to conclude that men have evolved to use the sound of a woman's
voice as a "back-up signal" to help gauge how fertile they are.
Publishing their findings in the journal Evolution And Human Behaviour, they said relying on both
sight and sound "ensures a low rate of mate choice error".
Dr Peter Abend, who led the research, said what men were hearing in an attractive woman's voice
was the fact that her vocal cords, larynx and nasal cavity were well aligned.
Consequently, an attractive voice gave away the fact that a woman had a symmetrical face. But a
study of 40 men and women carried out by Albright College in Pennsylvania found only women
had the ability to make their voices more alluring.
They could lower the pitch of their voice and increase their hoarseness while men's attempts to
sound sexy failed.
Susan Hughes, associate professor of psychology at the university, said: "This ability may be due to
culture and cuts across different cultures and times.
"There is a stereotype of what is a sexual voice in our culture – a low, breathy voice."
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