'Female leaders in masculine voices preferred'

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 13, 2012 11:00 hrs

Washington, Dec 13 (IANS) Both men and women prefer to hear male and female leaders in masculine voices. Even in leadership roles typically held by women, both sexes prefer women leaders with low-pitched voices, says a US study.

Rindy Anderson and Casey Klofstad from Duke and Miami universities, respectively, asked people to listen to the phrase "I urge you to vote for me this November", spoken by two voices that differed only in their pitch. They found that both men and women preferred female candidates with masculine voices.

Men also preferred men with masculine voices but women did not discriminate between the male voices they heard. Their results suggest that the influence of voice pitch on perceptions of leadership capacity is consistent across different domains of leadership and independent of social context, the journal Public Library of Science reports.

"We often do not consider how our biology can influence our decision making. The results of this study show that voice pitch - a physiological characteristic - can affect how we select our leaders," says Klofstad, according to a Duke and Miami statement.

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