Patient Resources

Bridge to the Future of Reproductive Medicine

A new UCLA study has conducted research and has found evidence that human ovulation — a state once thought to be undetectable without medical equipment — actually prompts a range of subtle but observable behaviors aimed at attracting the best possible mate.

The authors show for the first time that women unconsciously change their voices with the approach of ovulation, using a higher, more feminine pitch in social communication.

With the assumption that higher pitch is generally perceived as more attractive and more feminine, researchers recorded the voices of 69 women during two phases of their ovulatory cycle: once when fertility was low and once near ovulation (confirmed using hormone tests). The closer women were to ovulation, the more they raised their pitch. This difference was found only when women spoke a simple introductory sentence — “Hi, I’m student at UCLA” — and not for simple vowel sounds.

The study shows that women unconsciously change their voice in relation to fertility, and possibly only in social communication contexts. Research is now finding that this change is apart of multiple behaviors women engage in during high fertility. Other changes have been detected in how they dress, how they walk and the mates they prefer. Higher voice pitch in women indicates the presence of feminizing hormones, and it also correlates with being younger. Both qualities tend to correlate with high fertility, so men have evolved to be attracted to these cues.

Authors of the study include Gregory A. Bryant, a UCLA assistant professor of communication studies, and Martie G. Haselton, a UCLA associate professor of communication studies and psychology.

Journal reference:

  • Bryant et al. Vocal cues of ovulation in human females. Biology Letters, 2008; 1 (-1): -1 DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2008.0507

Adapted from materials provided by University of California – Los Angeles.

close slider

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Phone Number (required)

    Your Message