It is not the appearance or personality. A new study reveals that the element that carries the strongest sexual attraction is the voice.
Researchers in Canada say that we feel a physical attraction to a person who has a similar voice to ours as regards pronunciation, volume, and tone.
Previous studies have focused on how manly or feminine a voice is. Men with deep voices and women with thin voices were considered by far the most charming. However, new research demonstrates that the mechanisms behind these preferences are more complex.
Researchers of the University of British Columbia claim that “the voice is a versatile tool that people use to shape their identity.”
After a series of tests and experiments, it turned out that the main component of a person’s charm is the relevant characteristics of their voice. In other words, we are attracted to an individual who has the typical traits of a man or woman who belongs to the same community as us.
For women, the sensual voice like that of Marilyn Monroe is considered more attractive because it is intertwined with youth and good health. For men, the dominant feature of the charm was the deep voice.
The new study is published in peer-reviewed scientific PLOS One.
How does sexual attraction work in the brain?
What about the brain? What happens when we meet someone we are attracted to?
The medial prefrontal cortex seems to be “responsible” for the magnetism of love at first sight and, according to Irish scientists, plays a crucial role in our erotic choices.
Researchers from Trinity College in Dublin claim that different regions of the medial prefrontal cortex, located at the front of the brain, are responsible for our judgment based on sexual attraction, which within a few milliseconds can indicate the “ideal” partner.
Speed-dating in the name of science
151 single women and men took part in the study.
Before starting the experiment, 39 of the participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while being shown the images of people they were going to meet during the next phase of the experiment, and in consequence evaluated each of them with a rate from 1 to 4, with 4 corresponding to the “I really want to go out with him/her”.
To find out what really happens at first glance, in the next days the scientists organized a speed-dating evening where participants were moving in a circular room and talking to everyone for five minutes. After that, the experts asked the volunteers to indicate the person they would like to see again.
As the results of the speed-dating evening showed, the volunteers had a very positive opinion about the people they liked by the picture. The researchers found that the primary interest of those who had undergone MRI towards those depicted in the pictures was 63% real during their face-to-face meeting.
“The truth is that we laughed a lot during the study and hope someday to get a marriage invitation card, however, till now, we have not received anything,” jokingly says doctoral student in psychology and the study’s researcher Jeffrey Cooper.
During the “erotic judgment”, a particular region of the medial prefrontal cortex, called PCC (Paracingulate cortex), seemed to be triggered. According to the scientists, the intense activity recorded at this point is related to the sexual attraction we feel to someone and eventually defines our choice of a partner.
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