Women's voice pitch is negatively correlated with health risk factors

Jovana Vukovic, David R. Feinberg, Lisa Debruine, Finlay G. Smith, Benedict C. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies have demonstrated that men prefer women's voices with relatively high pitch to those with low pitch, suggesting that men may use voice pitch as a cue of women's mate quality. However, evidence that voice pitch is a cue to women's long-term health is equivocal. Here we present evidence that women's average speaking voice pitch is negatively correlated with a health risk index derived from principle component analysis of various body measurements that are known to predict long-term health outcomes in women (weight, body mass index, percentage body fat, waist and hip circumference, and waist-hip ratio). Our results suggest that voice pitch is a cue to women's long-term health, supporting mate-choice accounts of men's preferences for raised pitch in women's voices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-225
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2010


  • attractiveness
  • femininity
  • fundamental frequency
  • mate choice
  • voice pitch

Cite this