Not into talking like a sexy baby, ladies? Good news! Your own natural voice sounds especially seductive all on its own for at least a few days every month, thanks to your menstrual cycle.
A new study published in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences found that when a woman is at her most fertile—about six days before ovulation—heterosexual men find the sound of her voice particularly attractive.
The author, Sethu Karthikeyan, a researcher from Pace University, enlisted 36 women and 50 heterosexual men for her experiment. The female participants were split into two groups—high fertility and low fertility—and put into a speed-dating scenario, in which they were prompted to listen to a recording of a flirty male voice who asked for her phone number. The women were told to respond by simply reading the phone number shown to them on a screen.
Next, the men were brought in and told to pretend like the female voice they were about to hear was actually giving them her number. They were then asked to rate her level of attractiveness on a scale of one to 100.
Sure enough, the women from the "high fertility" group were rated more attractive than the "low fertility" group, despite the fact the men never saw what these women looked like.
The findings support a growing body of research that suggests a woman's entire sex appeal peaks during this window. What else happens during high fertility?
Women's faces become more attractive: A few years ago, researchers asked 500 men to rate the faces of over 200 women in different menstrual stages. The men rated women who were close to ovulation (i.e., more fertile) more attractive than women who were not.
Women's dance movies become sexier: A study out of Germany asked 48 women to dance to an identical drumbeat, with their hair tied back for consistency. Two-hundred men then rated silhouettes of the dancing women. They judged those in highly fertile stages to be more attractive dancers.
Women make more money: A famous study from 2007 found that strippers made more money while more fertile. The women made $70 per hour during peak fertility, versus roughly $35 while menstruating and $50 in between.
Men in relationships feel threatened: A study from 2011 found that peak fertility's power is so strong that men in committed relationships feel threatened by it. During the study, single men rated highly fertile women as more attractive—but oddly, men in relationships went in the opposite direction and rated those women as significantly less attractive. As the New York Times’ John Tierney explained, the men sensed the fertile woman posed a threat to their beloved relationship, and "to avoid being enticed to stray, they apparently told themselves she wasn’t all that hot anyway."
Taryn Hillin is Fusion's love and sex writer, with a large focus on the science of relationships. She also loves dogs, Bourbon barrel-aged beers and popcorn — not necessarily in that order.