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Men can decode women's menstrual cycles from their voice

London, Sun, 29 Jan 2012 ANI

London, Jan 29 (ANI): Men can actually tell from a woman's voice when she is having her period, a new study has claimed.


For the study, conducted by Nathan Pipitone at Adams State College and Gordon Gallup from SUNY-Albany, the researchers asked three groups of men to listen to voice recordings of ten women who counted from one to five at four different points over their menstrual cycle.


According to Popular Science, all four recordings were played in a random order and then the first group of men were asked to guess which were made while the women were on their period.


The tests revealed that the men were correct 35 percent of the time, which was described as a 'significant' result.


A study by the two scientists four years ago had already shown that men find the voices of ovulating women more attractive than voice recordings at other points in their period cycle.


So to update their research, they swapped the recordings that were nearest to ovulation with those from a less fertile day.


The second group in the new study still spotted the voice during menstruation 34 percent of the time.


In fact, Pipitone and Gallup said all three groups pinpointed the 'period' voices more than any other recordings.


Evidence has already shown that men subconsciously judge where a woman is in her menstrual cycle.


According to the men taking part in the experiments, they could tell the women were menstruating by four key indicators in the recordings - mood, quality, pitch and speed.


Some said that the menstrual recordings appeared lower in pitch, quality and mood.


In evolutionary terms, an aversion to menstruation, whether conscious or subconscious, is logical because males will seek females who are ovulating in order to pass on their genes.


"The men seemed to determine menstrual voices by picking the most unattractive voice," the Daily Mail quoted Pipitone as saying.


He added that it is hormones that give the women away, by inducing vocal change.


"Vocal production is closely tied to our biology. For example, cells from the larynx and vagina are very similar and show similar hormone receptors," he said.


Gallup concluded that "the sound of a person's voice contains a surprising amount of reproductively relevant information."


The study has been published in the journal Ethology. (ANI)


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