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Does the strength of women's attraction to male vocal masculinity track changes in steroid hormones?

By Benedict C Jones, Amanda C Hahn, Katarzyna Pisanski, Hongyi Wang, Michal Kandrik, Anthony J Lee, Iris J Holzleitner, David R Feinberg, Lisa M DeBruine

Posted 30 Aug 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/403949

Recent studies that either used luteinizing hormone tests to confirm the timing of ovulation or measured steroid hormones from saliva have found little evidence that women's preferences for facial or body masculinity track within-subject changes in women's fertility or hormonal status. Fewer studies using these methods have examined women's preferences for vocal masculinity, however, and those that did report mixed results. Consequently, we used a longitudinal design and measured steroid hormones from saliva to test for evidence of hormonal regulation of women's (N=351) preferences for two aspects of male vocal masculinity (low pitch and low formants). Analyses suggested that preferences for masculine pitch, but not masculine formants, may track within-woman changes in estradiol. Although these results present some evidence for the hypothesis that within-subject hormones regulate women's attraction to masculine men, we do not discount the possibility that the effect of estradiol on pitch preferences in the current study is a false positive.

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