You know how a deep voice in a man is a surefire sign of his ability to impregnate you with lots of his genetically-fit babies, which is exactly what you, as a woman, are hardwired to want? Yeah, no. Turns out, dudes with deep voices actually have substandard sperm.
Last year saw lots of research into low-voiced guys, with scientists finding that women are better at remembering things when they're said in a deep, manly voice, and that we prefer deep-voiced partners but also worry that they'll cheat. The authors of the latter study wrote, "Lower-pitched men's voices are not only rated as more attractive, but are associated with a greater number of reported sexual partners, and greater reproductive success than are higher-pitched men's voices." A classic evo-psych interpretation would be that ladies like guys with deep voices because their strong, virile sperm is sure to fill our hungry wombs with offspring. However, it appears that's not the case: a recent study found that men with deep voices actually have lower-than-average semen quality. Specifically, the study authors write,
Consistent with previous voice research, women judged lower pitched voices as more masculine and more attractive. However men with lower pitched voices did not have better semen quality. On the contrary, men whose voices were rated as more attractive tended to have lower concentrations of sperm in their ejaculate.
So if it's not their sexy sperm we crave, why do ladies like deep-voiced men? Scientific American speculates that a deep voice might be a symbol of sexual and social maturity: men who speak in low tones may be perceived as powerful and established. However, we think maybe there's another explanation: women seek out men with lower sperm quality because we subconsciously want the human race to die out. Keep on talking, guys — you're playing right into our plans.
The Barry White Syndrome: Why Are Deep Voices Attractive? [Scientific American, via USA Today]