Scientists Find Deep-Voiced Males Have Lower Sperm Counts

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

The old joke about male sopranos having feminine proclivities may be just another cultural myth. Researcher Leigh Simmons has developed data which strongly suggests that basses have decidedly lower sperm counts. Working with volunteers at the University of Western Australia, the evolutionary biologist tested 54 heterosexual men.  He first asked 30 female volunteers to rate the men’s voices for sexual attractiveness and masculinity. Not surprisingly, men with deep voices were uniformly rated the highest in sexual allure.

Armed with that data, Simmons asked the male subjects to harvest an ejaculate sample “in the privacy of their own home.” The samples were introduced to a computer-assisted  sperm analysis system that measured the number of sperm and their propensity to swim to eggs. The results were counter-intuitive and surprising. Deep-voiced men had less sperm than their higher timbre contemporaries but their sperm was just as motile. Simmons reasons that testosterone, which helps produce deeper sounding voices, may be the culprit.

Biologist have known for years that heterosexual women typically favor masculine features like deep voices, prominent jaws and high muscle mass. The thinking is that such features fulfill the desire of  those females to find a dominant male – one who will offer the best protection for her and her family.

Simmons concludes ” that men who evolutionarily invest most of their energy into making themselves attractive to females may suffer deficiencies in other areas—in this case, sperm counts.” He also suggests that the study might support the notion that masculinity has other purposes besides sexual attractiveness. One theory is that masculinity may aid males in competing with other males. Evolutionary psychologist Laura Dane supports this theory, “It’s equally likely (if not more likely) that males, in general, have bigger and more muscular bodies as well as lower-pitched voices because they had to compete with other males for dominance and status.”  Dr. Dane agrees that more research is needed on this topic and it’s coming. “If masculine traits lead to higher dominance/status positions—even at the expense of some level of sperm quality—then the trade-off between masculine traits and fertility makes more sense,” she said.

Interestingly, heterosexual men prefer women with higher pitched voices. Research seems to suggest that men view the higher pitched female voices as presenting traits of youthfulness and fertility.

So, the research may mean that the best way for single guys and gals to get more dates is not losing a few pounds but merely a few voice lessons.

Source: National Geographic; The Telegraph

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

55 thoughts on “Scientists Find Deep-Voiced Males Have Lower Sperm Counts”

  1. anon:

    “Anyway Mespo, I apologize for once more pointing out the huge stench that arises from your keyboard and pervades your efforts.”

    ***********************

    I have to wonder why with all the foolishness you see in my posts, you continually read, scrutinize, and persistently comment on them. I’d like to think it’s Einsteins’ classic definition of insanity but given the topic at hand, it must be love.

    Ah, to be the desire of trolls everywhere; my life’s wish fulfilled!
    LOL

  2. Off Topic;

    The Frog of War
    When biologist Tyrone Hayes discovered that a top-selling herbicide messes with sex hormones, its manufacturer went into battle mode. Thus began one of the weirdest feuds in the history of science.
    —By Dashka Slater
    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2011/11/tyrone-hayes-atrazine-syngenta-feud-frog-endangered

    Excerpt;
    DARNELL LIVES DEEP IN the basement of a life sciences building at the University of California-Berkeley, in a plastic tub on a row of stainless steel shelves. He is an African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, sometimes called the lab rat of amphibians. Like most of his species, he’s hardy and long-lived, an adept swimmer, a poor crawler, and a voracious eater. He’s a good breeder, too, having produced both children and grandchildren. There is, however, one unusual thing about Darnell.

    He’s female.

    Genetically, Darnell is male. But after being raised in water contaminated with the herbicide atrazine at a level of 2.5 parts per billion—slightly less than what’s allowed in our drinking water—he developed a female body, inside and out. He is also the mother of his children, having successfully mated with other males and spawned clutches of eggs. Recently he was moved to an atrazine-free tank and has turned lanky, losing the plump, pincushion look of a female frog. But last March, when UC-Berkeley integrative biology professor Tyrone B. Hayes opened him up to take a look, Darnell’s insides were still female. “He still has ovaries, but there’s no eggs in them,” Hayes told me the next day as we stood watching the frog, who swam over and inspected us soberly, then turned and flopped away.

  3. “See folks, trolls are like the scorpion in the fable; it’s just their nature. Thank you anon for taking the bait just as I knew you would. You really make it far too easy, which takes the fun out of it.”

    Yes, I confess, you’ve certainly been busy laying traps for me. First by supporting bogus junk science in the courtroom, then by white knighting for misandry. You’re quite the clever one Otteray.

  4. but has a ready made crude–and often sexist–insult anytime directly confronted

    And this is the point isn’t it? In many of her posts Malisha (and others here) often throw in casually bigotted remarks, Malisha’s towards men.

    You either don’t notice them, or you smirk with a trained “you go grrl” grin, and move on.

    When the genders are intentionally reversed, suddenly you wake up and notice, woah, that’s offensive!

    But instead of understanding the point that one remark was serious as it was casual and the other a bitter parody intended to make the point sharply, instead you are so sick, society so twisted, that in the name of gender equality, you complain about the second instance and not the first.

    Casually sexist remarks directed towards one gender are not on the road to gender equality.

  5. See folks, trolls are like the scorpion in the fable; it’s just their nature. Thank you anon for taking the bait just as I knew you would. You really make it far too easy, which takes the fun out of it.

  6. Dealing with trolls is kind of like trying to argue with a sullen teenager who is functionally incapable of learning, but has a ready made crude–and often sexist–insult anytime directly confronted.

    Personally, I’d rather deal with a sullen teenager capable of learning than with an obvious fraud that defends scientifically bogus theories like Otteray Scribe’s Computer Aided Automatic Scream Identification (CAASI). You either should have known better or you are a fraud and a liar.

  7. Maggincat, Tim Storms is the bald guy. His voice only sounds gravelly if you have inexpensive speakers. Laptop speakers will not reproduce his low range, and the $25 set of speakers on my office computer will not do the trick either. My home computer is hooked to top-end Klipsch speakers and they do the job adequately. Tim Storms is in the Guinness book of world records for having the lowest bass register of any singer in the world. You cannot even hear his lowest notes–his lowest note can only be recorded with special microphones and seen on an oscilloscope. Actually, he has a very smooth voice and the widest vocal range for a male. IIRC, his range is eight octaves, five of those below middle C. That is also in the Guinness Book of World Records. Curiously, his normal speaking voice just sounds like a good radio announcer.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Storms

  8. What Gene and Malisha said. I no longer waste time with trolls, so just ignore the stench and move on. Dealing with trolls is kind of like trying to argue with a sullen teenager who is functionally incapable of learning, but has a ready made crude–and often sexist–insult anytime directly confronted. Meh!

  9. There is little doubt you were born that way, anon, but formative experiences probably played a role as well.

    Your consistent persistent misogyny leaves little room for doubt.

  10. “Anon, I repeat: ““Or perhaps nature is saying that the men with a bit less testosterone should be the ones having more kids nowadays, so nature can go forward with fewer of the testosterone-induced (or enhanced) problems over the long run. ?? I’m just sayin…”

    You think this is bigoted?”

    Maybe nature is saying women with huge tits are fat slags and shouldn’t be having kids that they will probably mistreat and bring up poorly. Maybe nature is saying that women with huge sloppy lipped vaginas have bred too much and we shouldn’t be giving them welfare. Maybe breast cancer is nature’s cure for estrogen.

    Do you think that is bigoted and asinine?

    We usually / currently tend to think harshly about people who judge others for aspects of their lives they were born into and cannot change.

    And then there is the whole problematic aspect of how you write “testosterone-induced problems”. This is certainly a very pointed view of testosterone. Perhaps if you had a history of writing about the estrogen-induced problems that society faces it would be easier to understand you are writing one element in a balanced and wise portfolio of critiques of humanity.

    But since that’s not your history, it’s reasonable to assume your remarks are just casual bigotry in which you criminalize men for their biology understanding that no one will call you on your bullshit.

  11. Anon, I repeat: ““Or perhaps nature is saying that the men with a bit less testosterone should be the ones having more kids nowadays, so nature can go forward with fewer of the testosterone-induced (or enhanced) problems over the long run. ?? I’m just sayin…”

    You think this is bigoted? Not at all, Anon. I think this is very complimentary to the men who have a bit less testosterone. They should, perhaps, be the ones having more kids nowadays. They’re MEN, Anon.

    If you designed a psychological test to measure “man hatred” in women, and your question was:

    “True or False: I like men with high voices,” and answering “YES” to that question put a woman high on the scale of man-hatred, AND

    also, a “TRUE” answer to

    “True or False: “I hope men with Baritone Voices have fewer children than men with Tenor Voices” put women high on the scale of man-hatred,

    I think you’d have a weird little test that couldn’t sell very well among the forensic psychiatrists of the world, if they were trying to measure misandry among the women they tested.

    Here are a few test questions I would answer TRUE to:

    “I like men who can hold long conversations without becoming indignant”

    “I like men who can make their point without calling anybody a bitch”

    “I like men who love to sing and don’t butcher a song”

    “I like men who like the same music I like best”

    “I like men who aren’t always carrying on about how the last woman they knew was mean to them”

    “I like men who can face the idea that a lot of women harbor some misgivings about their behavior, at least until they have had a chance to show their real intentions and show that they can roll with the punches.”

  12. “Yes, Anon, if you count up all the bad things done to innocent men by bad evil women, you can come up with the conclusion that women are much more likely to be bad people. And that is a conclusion that is based on the data you have used to reach it.”

    I don’t think I’ve ever said that women are more likely to be bad people.

    I’ve said gender equality is about realizing that women are equally likely to be bad people, and to stop rationalizing the truly horrible behaviors of some bitches just because you hate men.

    What you actually wrote:

    “Or perhaps nature is saying that the men with a bit less testosterone should be the ones having more kids nowadays, so nature can go forward with fewer of the testosterone-induced (or enhanced) problems over the long run. ?? I’m just sayin…””

    How you now rationalize your casual bigotry when it’s pointed out to you

    “Anon, you’re really quick to think yourself denounced”

  13. Anon, you’re really quick to think yourself denounced. That’s not about testosterone; it’s about HMDU. More on HMDU later, but it will go on this thread. It’s Heterosexual Male Dominance Units.

    You might really like lots and lots of testosterone and so forth, Anon, but that wouldn’t change the fact that there’s a correlation between (according to Mark Esposito, although I haven’t independently fact-checked it) sperm count and voice pitch. I might say, though, that on May 7, 2012 there was a gala in NY at a place called the “St. Anne’s Warehouse” that had been, for a couple of decades, home to an arts community, and now was moving a few blocks away. The guy who plays SPIDERMAN on Broadway sang — the most mesmerizing song, I can’t remember the name of it — in a high-pitched voice. From my seat (among about 800 guests) I couldn’t even tell if it was a man or woman singing, just some thin person with moderate length hair dressed in unremarkable clothes. Afterwards, when a friend of mine went up to him to greet and congratulate him, I saw who he was, and thanked him for his beautiful performance. The image of his beautiful face (as he thanked me and shook my hand, as the stars do with fans) popped up into my consciousness just now, although I have very little visual memory in general.

    You’re too touchy, man. I don’t have to think men are all (or nearly all) perfect, wonderful, blameless, gorgeous, correct, desirable, respectable, blah blah blah blah beings for you to think I am not a man-hater. If I were a man-hater it would be well within my rights to be so. If I identified you as a woman-hater, it would also be well within my rights to do so, as long as that did not lead me to be able to deprive you of your constitutional rights under color of state law.

    I don’t know what kind of man you actually are, Anon. I’ll debate you on the point that you like to bring up about how bad so many, many women are, and it reminds me of a group of 100 questions I once wrote for a lawyer who was going to be taking the deposition of the famous (infamous) now deceased (allegedly by his own hand) Richard Gardner, M.D. of New Jersey. The questions drew him out on all his theories on the evil women who used divorce courts to do countless harm to innocent men. The questions were very ordinary at first and simply asked him to state what he had written already in black and white in his books, which he had sent for free to all the judges in the United States. Toward the end it examined him on certain cases in which he had testified, and each one of them had been a case against one of these presumed terrible women. The last few questions asked him if it was true that he had never identified these terrible behaviors in any men, and of course, he had not. A few questions asked him about prevalence and the numbers, etc. Among the last of the questions was: “Is it true then, that in your medical opinion, mothers are much more likely to be bad people than fathers are, at least in the sample that you have used in the last twenty years?”

    Yes, Anon, if you count up all the bad things done to innocent men by bad evil women, you can come up with the conclusion that women are much more likely to be bad people. And that is a conclusion that is based on the data you have used to reach it.

    (By the way, check out the autopsy report of Dr. Gardner, who is said to have stabbed himself to death.)

  14. Curious, for what it’s worth, I just stumbled across this in which a woman explains it’s not testosterone that’s the problem but her own stupid chemistry and women’s stupid decisions, but she also says in the bolded part:

    http://www.thefrisky.com/2012-05-24/the-soapbox-why-we-cant-resist-an-a-hole/

    The Soapbox: Why We Can’t Resist An A-Hole

    Apparently the male sex hormone accounts for our inexplicable attraction to assholes.

    From an evolutionary standpoint, testosterone reigns supreme—so scientifically speaking, it’s not our fault that we’re attracted to testosterone laden Bad Boys. But what does testosterone have to do with the qualities that we find attractive?

    Back in the caveman days, being an asshole was necessary for survival. Just think about the mindset it takes to hunt and kill a wild animal. A caveman had to be aggressive. He had to stay focused. He had to compete with other cavemen who were also hunting for food. He had to be confident that he could take down an animal three times his size … or he had absolutely no concept of consequences or failure. If he were sitting around talking with his caveman buddies about how they feel about the situation and how the animal feels about its imminent death and Oh my god we could be mauled by a tiger! Maybe we should just be vegetarians, he’s going to die and so are you and your little cavebabies. Thanks to natural selection, we’re genetically predisposed to be attracted to men who are aggressive, competitive risk takers with no fear of failure. To put it simply, we like assholes.

    Now fast forward to present day. The scenario isn’t all that far from what I just described. That aggressive, risky, and competitive behavior has been channeled into more mainstream behavior as, ladies, that caveman is now a go-getter. A man with ambition. A man who will focus on the goal, and pursue it with reckless abandon until he achieves it. In short, they’re highly successful due largely to high testosterone levels.

    We can also thank testosterone for those sexy physical attributes we can’t resist. Square jaw line, broad shoulders, muscular physique, deep voice … think lumberjacks, firemen, Brad Pitt, Sean Connery, the guy from the Old Spice commercials (who actually appears in a Google image search for “manly men”). They’re hot. Who wouldn’t find these guys attractive?

    And if that wasn’t enough, testosterone is also responsible for that thing we like to call “chemistry.” It’s that inexplicable attraction you have with someone. You can actually feel it when they enter the room and whether you are consciously aware of it or not, your body is on high alert and will delude you into thinking that this is husband material. There are studies showing that when women ovulate, they actually think that men with greater testosterone levels will be better fathers. That pesky male hormone and our stupid ovulation goggles are responsible for lots of bad decisions.

    My relationship with the King of Inappropriate Comments is a perfect example. I had such a hard time breaking up with him because of the chemistry. He was a big bear of a guy and even though he was about my height, he had a massive physique thanks to heavy weight lifting. He loved whiskey and steak. He was also incredible in the bedroom; so incredible, that for months I overlooked our numerous incompatibilities and his tendency to say the most downright offensive things pretty much all the time. I knew we weren’t right for each other and we had nothing in common except for sex. Amazing sex. He was uninhibited. He took charge. He thoroughly enjoyed himself every single time without fail. It made me feel incredibly sexy and comfortable enough to abandon my conservative buttoned up good-girl ways and simply enjoy myself every single time too

  15. “Malisha
    1, May 27, 2012 at 10:37 am
    Or perhaps nature is saying that the men with a bit less testosterone should be the ones having more kids nowadays, so nature can go forward with fewer of the testosterone-induced (or enhanced) problems over the long run. ?? I’m just sayin…”

    Your just saying this is another casually misandric remark.

    It’s totally fine to badmouth testosterone, because it’s the male hormone, but of course if I said anything about the estrogen fueled bitches and the harm they cause society you would twist your panties as you swiftly denounced me as a misogynist.

  16. I have no credentials but I am a heterosexual woman and the first flag for me was:

    “Biologist have known for years that heterosexual women typically favor masculine features like deep voices, prominent jaws and high muscle mass. The thinking is that such features fulfill the desire of those females to find a dominant male – one who will offer the best protection for her and her family.”

    What’s that based on – the cover of a Harlequin romance?

  17. @Otteray Scribe1-I wonder if Tim Storms was included in the study?” Which one is Tim Storms? If it was that gravely sounding voice at the beginning, that was gross, not only the voice but that guy looked like he was going to swallow the microphone!

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