The Voice of Seduction: Can a man decode your cycle by simply listening to your voice?

by | Mar 1, 2012 | Health & News

Yes, according to the authors of a recent online study published in the journal of Ethology. (1) The psychologists, Nathan Pipitone at Adams State College and Gordon Gallup at SUNY -Albany asked three groups of men to listen to voice recordings of ten women during various stages of their menstrual cycle.

Each woman was recorded four times over the course of one month’s menstrual cycle and asked to count from 1 – 5. To give a brief physiology review of the menstrual cycle, a “regular” cycle is 28 days long with Day 1 to be the first day of bleeding/period. Based this 28 day cycle, the stages are menstruation ( Day 1-5) , follicular phase ( Days 1-14), ovulation ( Day 14), and the luteal phase ( Days 15-28). All four recordings were played in random order and the first male group was asked to guess what time of the monthly cycle the women were in based on the woman’s voice.

According to results of the study, the men were correct 35 percent of the time which was described as a “significant” result and worthy of notation. A previous study done by Pipitone and Gallup in 2008 (2) found that men find the voices of women during the time of ovulation to be the most attractive compared to other times of their cycle. In this more recent study, less fertile days (days of bleeding) were used and men spotted the voice during menstruation 34 percent of the time. In fact, all three groups pinpointed the “period” female voices more than any other recordings. The key indicators for the men in the study allowing them to determine that the woman was menstruating were mood, quality, pitch and speed.

What about the women on their period? The menstruating women recordings appeared lower in pitch, quality and mood.

The Mating Game: Evolutionary Benefit

Finding the voice of women most attractive at the time of ovulation would make sense from an evolutionary and reproductive perspective. Ovulation represents the most fertile time of the month when the egg is released from the ovary. Having sex at this particular time maximizes the likelihood of fertilization — passing on his genetic lineage compared to the time of menstruation where fertilization is extremely rare. Pipitone stated, “The men seemed to determine menstrual voices by picking the most unattractive voice”. Hormonal fluctuations would be the key factor here in vocal change. “Vocal production is closely tied to our biology. For example, cells from the larynx and vagina are very similar and show similar hormone receptors,” says Pipitone. Gallup added that “the sound of a person’s voice contains a surprising amount of reproductive relevant information.”

Researching into this intriguing field, I also found some fun information.

Such as, which women have the sexiest voices?

According to a recent poll of the most seductive female voices, the top two were Michelle Pfeiffer and Angelina Jolie. See below for the other top eight.

1 Michelle Pfeiffer
2 Angelina Jolie
3 Scarlett Johansson
4 Melanie Griffith
5 Marilyn Monroe
6 Keira Knightley
7 Marlene Dietrich
8 Lauren Bacall
9 Miriam Margoyles
10 Kathleen Turner

Are women attracted to men with certain vocal qualities?

Yes, we are!!! Yet, a woman’s sensitive vocal radar focuses on a lower-pitched voices which reflects masculinity, higher reproductive fitness and increased social and physical dominance. Again, Mother Nature had a plan!

More on this in a few weeks. Keep your eyes (and ears!) open for this insightful article in the coming weeks! In the meantime, take notice of the voices around you… are you attracted to the sound? What about your partner’s voice? What turns you on about it? What turns you off?

Let me know by leaving me a comment below:


1. Pipitone, R., Gallup, G. (2011) The Unique Impact of Menstruation on the Female Voice: Implications for the Evolution of Menstrual Cycle Cues. Ethology, 118(3). Article first published online 22 DEC. 2011.

2. Pipitone, R., Gallup, G. (2008): Women’s voice attractiveness varies across the menstrual cycle. Evolution and Human Behavior; 29 (4): 268-274.