Men Are Really Bad at Sexy Voice, Say Scientists Who Have Never Heard of Barry White

To the list of arbitrary markers of sexiness our society has somehow decided upon, you can add "a low, breathy voice." But we have the advantage here, ladies — apparently men are very bad at speaking in sexy voices. A study published in Journal of Nonverbal Behavior suggests that when men try to speak in sexy tones, it actually makes things worse.

In the study, 20 men and 20 women were asked to speak in a sexy voice and then the recordings were played for 40 different people who judged how successful the participants were at exuding sexiness. The sample size is small, but the results were conclusive: men really suck at doing sexy voice. In fact, people judging the recordings actually had a slight tendency to rate their attempts to be sexy as less attractive than when they weren't trying.

So what gives? Well, researches speculate that, when it comes to what science-y types call mate selection and the rest of us call dating, women have to be better at making themselves seem attractive. Therefore, they've perfected this particular skill, even though both men and women are equally proficient at manipulating their voice to sound smarter.

Though it also turns out that when it comes to sounding confident, men are better. Which is unsurprising given recent discussions of women's confidence and the fact that we live in a culture intent on undermining the confidence of women. But since confidence itself can be a sexy thing, maybe guys can take some solace in the fact that this might in some small way make up for their failure when it comes to sexy voice.

Overall, this study serves to underscore the fact that when it comes to sex and sexiness, humans are weird. For one thing, why exactly is a low and breathy voice considered sexy? I mean, I as a member of this society agree that it is, but why? And also how weird is it that even though obviously no one is going around teaching women how to speak this way or even telling women that they should, that women are still picking it up when men aren't? Like I said: weird.

But then, no one has ever really accused human sexuality of making sense, have they?