What Your Sperm Says About You

Males with low voices? Sexy. Think Barry White. James Earl Jones. Don LaFontaine. Males with high voices? Samuel "Screech" Powers. Not so sexy.

Some fast facts about men with attractive voices (most often deep and husky):

  • men with attractive voices have attractive faces
  • men with attractive voices have higher numbers of sexual partners
  • women’s preference for masculine voices correlates with their preference for masculine faces
  • when women are at their most fertile, they prefer very masculine voices
  • when assessing short-term partners, women prefer those with masculine voices

But those deep bass voices might not have the best sperm. Say what? Well it goes a bit like this…

Humans have a limited amount of resources to invest into mate attracting. That is, the male with the sexy deep voice has used up all his resources to 'buy' that sexy voice, leaving himself fewer resources to buy good sperm-making skills.

Compare that guy to the male who decided to pass on the masculine voice investment portfolio and instead invested most of his resources into his sperm-making portfolio. There is some cool animal model research to support this. Take the generic field cricket, for example. The male cricket who does a lot of showboating and makes intense acoustic sounds to attract mates has lower sperm quality vs. his ghetto cricket counterpart who just makes do with average acoustics.

So how do we know that deep voices may be related to lower sperm quality? Well we get men to masturbate and collect their sperm. Obviously. And how do we measure sperm quality? With Semen Analysis software. Obviously.

The sperm is evaluated based on 7 motility parameters: (Don’t you love the shit that sex researchers come up with?)

  1. average path velocity
  2. straight line velocity
  3. velocity along the sperm cells point-to-point track
  4. lateral amplitude of sperm head movement
  5. frequency with which the sperm head crosses the average sperm path
  6. straightness of the sperm’s path
  7. linearity of the sperm’s path

And how do we know what a masculine or attractive voice sounds like? We get heterosexual females to come in and rate the mens' recorded vowel sounds. Obviously. But not “u”. When people pronounce “u”--they intonate downward so we ignore that vowel. Obviously.

In one study, 54 Australian men (aged 18-32) were asked to refrain from sexual activity for a minimum of 48hrs before sperm 'collection'. The men were supplied with 4 sexually explicit images and asked to masturbate to these 4 pictures. They were instructed to ejaculate into a vial which they deliver to the laboratory within 1 hour of collection.

Survey says? Men with low pitched voices are rated as more attractive (the women never saw a picture of these dudes) versus voices that were more high pitched. Masculine voices are rated as more attractive than less masculine voices.

Men with attractive voices had lower sperm concentrations versus males with less attractive voices.

So moral of the story….Do sperm analysis of your male partners. Pick less attractive males if creating offspring is an important legacy you want to leave behind. If a condom breaks during sex, make sure it’s with an attractive male since his Pokémon (pokey, man) sperm will have less chance of finding eggs.

Watch this video of Dr. Rachael Ross explaining how male sperm is produced.

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About The Author

Jocelyn wentland
Jocelyn Wentland
Jocelyn Wentland is a Sex Researcher, PhD student at the University of Ottawa. You will find her blogs are sexual, risqué (she likes to push the envelope), potentially offending, fun, but most of all, real. Read more of Jocelyn’s blog at Sex Research and The City.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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