No evidence that men's voice pitch signals formidability

D.R. Feinberg, B.C. Jones, M.M. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


We strongly disagree with Puts and Aung’s [1] claim that empirical data support pitch functioning as an honest signal of men’s formidability. First, we will outline the evidence for our view, as well as evidence suggesting voice pitch does not reliably signal two other aspects of phenotypic condition in men (immunocompetence and semen quality). Second, we will describe recent empirical work supporting our suggestion that associations between voice pitch and perceptions of men’s dominance are driven by the mistaken belief on the part of the perceiver that larger men have lower-pitched voices. Third, we will discuss some reasons why such misattributions may be maintained.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-192
Number of pages3
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number3
Early online date14 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2019


  • dominance
  • fundamental frequency
  • sensory bias
  • sexual selection


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