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Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology

www.jsecjournal.com
org - 2010, 4(4), 290-304.
Proceedings of the 4th Annual Meeting of the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society

Original Article

MAKING AGE ASSESSMENTS BASED ON VOICE:


THE IMPACT OF THE REPRODUCTIVE VIABILITY
OF THE SPEAKER
*

Susan
Susan
M.Hughes
Hughes

Department of Psychology, Albright College


Bradley C. Rhodes
Department of Biology, Bucknell University
Abstract
This study examined the ability to make age estimates based upon hearing voice samples
of speakers whose ages vary across the lifespan while considering the raters own age and
sex. It was hypothesized that voices are a strong index of reproductive viability and
therefore, members of both sexes would be most accurate in assessing age of those
around puberty and females approaching menopause. Voice samples were obtained from
101 individuals of both sexes, ranging in age from 2 to 67 years and an additional 97
independent raters of different ages were asked to estimate the exact age of the speakers
from voice recordings. Results showed that accuracy of voice assessment tended to
decrease as the speakers ages increased, with assessments of children and adolescents
being the most accurate. Overall, raters tended to underestimate the age of speakers as the
speaker age increased regardless of the raters own age. Whereas accuracy in ratings
decreased when male speakers reached age 46-55, accuracy remained high for female
speakers in their menopausal years, suggesting that both sexes are sensitive to vocal
changes during this developmental period. These findings illustrate that the human voice
may be used as a salient cue for assessing reproductive viability.
Keywords: Voice, age assessments, puberty, menopause, reproductive viability

Introduction
Human voices can convey a considerable amount of information to a listener and
can be used to assess a number of qualities about a person. For instance, several studies
have shown that listeners can determine a variety of physical attributes of speakers such
as gender, race, height, weight, and other body dimensions by simply hearing their voice
(see Hughes & Gallup, 2008 for review). Individuals of African and European descent
can be differentiated from one another from voice samples (Lass, Almero, Jordan, &
Walsh, 1980; Lass et al., 1978; Lass, Tecca, et al., 1979; Lass et al., 1982). Height can be
estimated, on average, to within a half an inch of a persons actual height from hearing a
AUTHOR NOTE: Please direct correspondence to Susan Hughes, Psychology Department,
Albright College, 13th and Bern Streets, Reading, PA 19612. Email: shughes@alb.edu
2010 Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology

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persons voice only (Lass, DiCola, et al., 1979; Krauss, Freyberg & Morsella, 2002).
Weight, too, can be estimated accurately by listening to a voice only (Lass et al., 1979),
and with nearly as much accuracy as assessing weight from seeing a full frontal
photograph (Krauss et al., 2002). People can also match a speakers photograph with
their voice sample in a forced choice experiment 76% percent of the time (Krauss et al.,
2002).
The sex of the speaker can also be determined with a high degree of accuracy
from both unaltered or filtered voice recordings (Cerrato, Falcone and Paoloni, 1999;
Lass, Almero, Jordan and Walsh, 1980; Lass, Hughes, Bowyer, Waters and Bourne,
1976), when only presented with isolated vowel sounds (Lass, Tecca, Mancuso, & Black,
1979), or unvoiced fricatives (Schwartz et al., 1983), and even when recordings are
played backwards (Lass, Mertz, & Kimmel, 1978). Speakers can also effectively attempt
to make their voice sound like that of a member of the other sex (Lass, Trapp, Baldwin,
Scherbick, & Wright, 1982). Apparently, manipulating both the fundamental frequency
and formants of the voice is enough to change the sound of a voice as if coming from the
opposite sex of the source (Hillenbrand & Clark, 2009).
In addition to using voice to identify different features of a person, voice
attractiveness can also be used to make assessments about a person. Voice attractiveness
is positively correlated with a number of objective measures of body attractiveness such
as waist-to-hip ratio in women, shoulder-to-hip ratio in men (Hughes, Dispenza &
Gallup, 2004) and symmetry in both sexes (Hughes, Harrison & Gallup, 2002; Hughes,
Pastizzo & Gallup, 2008). Indeed, Hughes et al. (2009) found that the mere sound of an
individuals voice allows people to infer accurate sex-specific body configurations of the
speaker (i.e. shoulder-to-hip ratio for men and waist-to-hip ratio for women). Individuals
also tend to associate positive personality traits with those who have more attractive
voices (Zuckerman & Driver, 1989), and those with attractive voices are thought to be
warmer, more likable, honest, dominant, and more likely to be successful (Berry, 1990;
Zuckerman & Driver, 1989). Vocal attractiveness is also perceived by the listener to be
indicative of positive traits within the personality dimensions of neuroticism and
conscientiousness (Zuckerman, Miyake, & Elkin, 1995). There are also distinct sex
differences with regards to pitch preferences for opposite-sex voices; masculine, lowerpitch male voices are preferred and seen as dominant by women (Apicella, Feinberg, &
Marlow, 2008; Puts, 2006), while men, perceive higher-pitched female voices as
sounding more attractive (Collins & Missing, 2003; Feinberg, DeBruine, Jones, &
Perrett, 2008; Jones, Feinberg, DeBruine, Little, & Vukovic, 2008).
Several studies have examined the ability of raters to assess the age of others
based solely on hearing their voice. Generally, differences between estimated and actual
ages based on the voice recordings are small (Lass, Justice, et al., 1982). Naranja and
Kushal (1982) showed that raters could accurately determine the age of a child (ages 3 to
5) within one year, on average, of a childs actual age. Likewise, Hummert, Mazloff, and
Clark (1999) showed individuals were very accurate at assessing the age of the voices of
older adults who were 60 years of age and older. Cerrato et al. (1999) found that raters
were able to assign a general age category to a voice using 6-year increments, starting at
age 18. Listeners can also easily differentiate voice samples of young adults from adults
over the age of 65 (Ptacek & Sander, 1966). When comparing the acoustic cues of vocal
aging, older male speakers show significantly longer sentence, word, and diphthong
durations and higher mean fundamental frequency compared to younger males, and
speaking rate appeared to be the main perceptual cue used to accurately identify age from
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voice (Harnsberger, Shrivastav, Brown, Jr., Rothman, & Hollien, 2006). Age can be
estimated just as accurately when the listener is familiar with the language of the speaker
as when they are not (Braun & Cerrato, 2000). Apparently individuals can also
effectively disguise their voices to influence perceived age; when individuals were asked
to manipulate their voices in attempt to sound older than they were, Lass et al., (1982)
found that age estimates were consistent with the intended disguise.
Other studies, however, have not found high accuracy for age estimates based on
voice. For instance, Neiman and Applegate (1990) showed that listeners are not very
good at assigning voices to specific age categories. Similarly, Braun and Cerrato (2000)
found that people were able to reliably and accurately assess the age of some voices, but
not others. Schotz (2001) further suggested that typical and atypical voices may exist
and this determines why listeners can accurately judge some voices (within a ten year
span of actual age) and not others. Unlike previous studies, the present study is an
attempt to examine patterns of accurate age estimates based on voices across the lifespan
when considering the reproductive viability of the speaker as a factor that may be
important in making accurate age determinations.
A number of physical and hormonal changes take place in males and females as
they age which can influence the sound of their voice. For instance, there is a surge of
activational hormones at puberty which influences the transition from a child-sounding
voice to a mature, adult voice (Mendes-Laureano et al., 2006). At puberty, a males voice
decreases by approximately one octave in pitch as a direct result of greater testosterone
exposure (Abitbol, Abitbol, & Abitbol, 1999). Similarly, at puberty, the pitch of a
females voice also decreases, but to a lesser degree (i.e. female voices decrease by
approximately a fourth of an octave) and this is shaped by estrogen and progesterone
(Abitbol et al., 1999). As males age, testosterone levels decline (Ferrini & BarrettConnor, 1998) and the mean volume and variability in volume of their voices increase
with age (Hummert, et al., 1999). As adult females age, the decline of sex hormone
activity, especially at menopause, affects a females vocal folds and laryngeal function
(Amir & Biron-Shental, 2004). Female voices deepen, maximum phonetic frequency
decreases, and vocal range expands, allowing them to hit lower pitches (Linville, 1987).
Pitch variability and vocal jitter also have been shown to increase with age (Hummert et
al., 1999). Therefore, it is alleged that one reason as to why age can be identified from
voice samples is a result of these hormonal influences (Shipp & Hollien, 1969).
From an evolutionary standpoint, the ability to make accurate age assessments of
others may be important for detecting potential opposite-sex mates who are
reproductively viable, or for detecting same-sex competitors. Because females
reproductive phase of their life terminates with menopause and the onset of menopause is
largely determined by age, it would not be as reproductively advantageous for men to
pursue women who are advanced in age because older women could be no longer fertile
or have a shorter remaining reproductive lifespan than younger women. Therefore, it is
not only adaptive to easily identify those who are sexually mature (i.e. post-pubertal), but
also to easily identify menopausal females who are no longer reproductively viable. We
propose that voice is a salient indicator of these developmental changes and can allow for
especially accurate assessments of age during these times.
In the present study, the ability of raters to assess age based only on hearing the
voices of male and female speakers (whose ages range from 2 to 67) was examined,
given each raters own age and sex. We hypothesized that members of both sexes would
be more accurate at assessing ages from voices produced by individuals around the age of
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puberty (to identify those who are sexually mature), and would be particularly accurate at
assessing the age of females as they approach menopause (e.g. ages 46-55) so as to
identify those who are no longer reproductively viable from those who are.
Methods
Voice Samples
One hundred and one participants (48 males, 53 females) were recruited from a
small Northeastern liberal arts college (who were faculty, staff, students, or others
involved in summer programs at the college) to provide voice samples used for this
study. All participants completed a brief demographic questionnaire regarding their sex,
age, ethnicity, first language, where they were raised as a child, if they smoke, and
whether they had a cold that affected their speech. Only those who indicated English as
their native language, did not have a strong or distinct accent that was uncommon to the
region, nor had any other features that may have affected the natural sound of their voice
(e.g., smoked frequently, had a cold/congestion, poor quality voice recording, etc.) were
included as our voice stimuli. Participants then provided a voice sample counting from
one to ten. Voices were recorded onto an Apple iPod handheld microphone that was held
approximately one inch from the speakers mouths. The mean age of those providing
voice samples was 28.97 (SD = 16.94, range = 2 to 67). The majority of participants
indicated that they were Caucasian (89%), and the remaining participants were African
American (3%), Hispanic (2%), Asian (1%), and that of another or mixed ethnicity (5%).
Voice ages were divided into 7 groups for analysis: (1 = 2-9 years old [n =12], 2 = 10-15
years old [n = 8], 3 = 16-22 years old [n= 27], 4 = 23-34 years old [n = 19], 5 = 35-44
years old[n = 11], 6 = 46-55 years old [n = 16], and 7 = age 56 and over [n = 8]). This
study was approved by the local Institutional Review Board.
Independent Raters
A separate set of 97 participants (37 males, 60 females) were recruited from the
college and from people living in the surrounding community, to serve as independent
raters to determine the sex and estimate the age of the individuals who provided the voice
samples. Raters were given a brief demographic questionnaire regarding their own age,
sex, ethnicity, where they were predominantly raised as a child, and were excluded from
the study if they had reported any hearing difficulty or if English was not their native
language. The mean age of the raters was 27.56 (SD = 12.44, range 17 to 68). Of these
raters, 73.2% indicated they were Caucasian, 13.4% were African American, 4.1% were
Asian, 3.1% were Hispanic, and the remaining 6.2% were of another or mixed ethnicity.
Since there were no child raters, Rater Age Groups were divided into only 4 analogous
groups to the Voice Age Groups for analysis, (1 = 16-22 years old [n = 59], 2 = 23-34
years old [n = 16], 3 = 35-45 years old [n = 7], 4 = age 46 and over [n = 15]).
Procedure for Raters
Each rater listened to thirty counterbalanced voice samples that were of a
representative mix of the different age groups of the 101 voice samples. Pilot testing
revealed that thirty voice ratings were sufficient to not create fatigue for the raters, as
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opposed to presenting all 101 voice samples obtained. First, raters were asked to identify
the sex of the voice. Then they were asked to estimate the exact age of the individuals.
Raters made assessments in quiet classrooms or lab settings and the group size for raters
varied from 1 to 14. Participants listened to each voice sample once unless there was a
request made to hear a voice sample again.
Results
Age Assessment Analysis
Because less random error is present when using mean age estimates for each
voice, we considered each voice rating made individually which allowed us to take into
account more variability in the ratings, and account for the sex and age of the rater, as
well as the sex and age of the person providing the voices sample for each voice rating to
generate our mean comparisons. A 2 (Rater Sex) X 2 (Voice Sex) X 7 (Voice Age
Groups) X 4 (Rater Age Groups) ANOVA was conducted on the difference scores
between estimated and actual ages for each individual rating. There were no main effects
for Rater Sex, F(1, 2086) = 0.13, p = .716, Voice Sex, F(1, 2086) = 0.40, p = .527, or
Rater Age Group, F(1, 2086) = 1.20, p = .309. However, a main effect for Voice Age
Group was found, F(6, 2806) = 72.00, p < .001. Means and standard deviations for
differences between age estimates and actual age for each Voice Age Group are
presented in Table 1. Tukey post hoc analyses showed that all pairwise group
comparisons were significantly different from one another aside from Voice Age Groups
1 and 2, 1 and 3, 2 and 3, and 6 and 7. There was a significant pattern of underestimating
the ages of the speakers as the speakers got older, r = -.42, p < .001.
Table 1. Descriptive Statistics for Different Scores and Absolute Different Scores between Age
Estimates and the Actual Age for Each Voice Age Group Speakers for Both Sexes
Voice Age
Group

Mean Differences
from Actual Age

SD

Mean Absolute Differences


from Actual Age

SD

2-9

0.20

0.83

1.56

0.60

10-15

0.84

0.72

3.48

0.52

16-22

1.71

0.53

6.56

0.39

23-34

-1.89

0.63

9.90

0.46

35-45

-7.29

0.67

12-20

0.48

46-55

-11.18

0.47

14.03

0.34

56+

-11.75

1.55

12.83

1.13

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There was also a significant interaction between Voice Sex and Voice Age
Group, for the difference scores between estimated and actual ages for each individual
rating, F(6, 2806) = 16.56, p <.001. As shown in Figure 1, raters were fairly accurate in
determining the correct age of both male and female voices for the first few age group
categories. However, raters began to underestimate female voices at age group 23-34,
whereas, for male voices, underestimation began later, at about age group 35-45.
Furthermore, raters did not underestimate the age of females in the 23-34 and 46-55 age
groups as much as they had for males in those age groups. Table 2 provides the statistics
for sex differences in mean different score ratings for each Voice Age Group.

Figure 1. Mean differences of estimated ages from actual ages across different age groups of male
and female voices.

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Table 2. Sex Differences in Mean Difference Scores between Estimated and Actual Age of
Speakers Across All Speaker Age Groups
Voice Age
Group

Voice Sex

Mean Age Difference

SD

2-9

male
female

117
174

0.48
-0.07

1.96
2.09

2.27

0.024

10-15

male
female

105
175

1.10
1.01

4.54
6.27

0.14

0.888

16-22

male
female

340
322

2.86
0.01

8.85
8.56

4.21

< 0.001

23-34

male
female

239
219

0.43
-4.90

11.10
11.08

5.13

< 0.001

35-45

male
female

175
191

-10.31
-2.31

9.42
13.82

-6.41

< 0.001

46-55

male
female

322
358

-14.19
-8.16

13.14
12.10

-6.22

< 0.001

56+

male
female

62
105

-10.79
-12.71

12.59
10.91

1.03

0.303

To get a better understanding of accuracy for how many years difference the age
estimates were from the speakers actual age, we conducted a 2 (Rater Sex) X 2 (Voice
Sex) X 7 (Voice Age Groups) X 4 (Rater Age Groups) ANOVA on the absolute
difference between estimated and actual ages for each individual rating. Similar to
difference scores, there was only a main effect for Voice Age Group, F(6, 2806) = 86.88,
p < .001. Descriptive statistics for absolute differences between age estimates and actual
voice for each Voice Age Group are also presented in Table 1. Tukey post hoc analyses
showed that all pairwise group comparisons were significantly different from one another
aside from Age Groups 5 and 7 and 6 and 7. As speakers age increased, the amount of
years estimated from actual age also increased, r = .44, p < .001. Figure 2 also illustrates
how accuracy progressively showed an overall decline as the age of the speakers
increased for each Voice Age Group.

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Figure 2. Absolute mean differences of estimated ages from actual ages across different age
groups of male and female voices.

There was a significant two-way interaction between Voice Sex and Voice Age
Group for absolute differences between estimated and actual ages, F (6, 2806) = 12.30, p
< .001. However, the only significant sex differences between accuracy ratings laid
within in the age groups 35-44 and 46-55, with raters showing better accuracy for female
voices (see Table 3). There was also a two-way interaction between Voice Age Group
and Rater Age Group for absolute differences between estimated and actual age ratings,
F(18, 2806) = 1.97, p = .008. Figure 3 illustrates the general decline of accuracy of age
estimates as speaker age increased across all rater age groups. Ratings were generally
consistent among all rater age groups with the most variability amongst Rater Age
Groups occurring in three oldest Voice Age Groups.

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Table 3. Sex Differences in Mean Absolute Difference Scores between Estimated and Actual Age
of Speakers Across All Speaker Age Groups
Voice Age Group

Voice Sex

Mean Age Difference

SD

2-9

male
female

117
174

1.47
1.43

1.38
1.53

0.30

0.763

10-15

male
female

105
175

3.33
4.31

3.26
4.65

-1.91

0.057

16-22

male
female

340
322

5.15
6.09

7.75
6.01

-1.74

0.083

23-34

male
female

239
219

8.27
10.38

7.39
6.22

-3.29

0.001

35-45

male
female

175
191

12.06
11.03

7.03
8.59

1.24

0.215

46-55

male
female

322
358

16.50
11.61

10.07
8.84

6.75

<
0.001

56+

male
female

62
105

12.85
13.63

10.44
9.70

-0.049

0.625

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Figure 3. Mean differences of estimate ages from actual ages across different rater age
groups for each of the voice age groups.

Gender Assessment Analysis


Table 4 provides the statistics for the percent correct of gender assessment within
each speaker age group. A One-Way ANOVA, independent measures analysis showed
Voice Age Group had a significant effect on percent of raters who identified the gender
of a voice correctly, F(6, 94) = 4.22, p = .001. Tukey post hoc analyses showed that Age
Groups of 2-9 (M = 80.96, SD = 5.91) and 10-15 (M = 75.36, SD = 31.67) were not
significantly different from one another, but were significantly different from all other
groups (see Table 4). When considering Voice Sex and Voice Age Group, the main effect
for Voice Group remained, F(6, 87) = 4.69, p < .001, but there was no main effect for
Voice Sex, F(1, 87) = .001, p = .999, nor a significant interaction between Voice Age
Group and Voice Sex for gender assessment accuracy, F(6, 87) = 1.01, p = .425.

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Table 4. Mean Percent Correct for Accurate Gender Identifications within Each Speaker Age
Group
Voice Age Group

Mean

SD

2-9

12

80.96

15.91

10-15

75.36

31.67

16-22

27

96.74

7.72

23-34

19

95.98

7.88

35-45

11

93.54

11.19

46-55

16

92.76

13.74

56+

93.90

9.96

Discussion
Our data show that raters were the most accurate in determining the age of both
male and female speakers for the youngest few age groups (2 to 9-year-olds, 10 to 15year-olds, 16 to 22-year-olds, and 23 to 34-year- olds), whereby most estimated age
ratings differed from the speakers actual ages by less than five years. Across all speaker
age groups, raters were the most precise in estimating the childrens ages, closely
followed by estimates of adolescents ages. This finding supports Naranja and Kushal
(1982) who also showed that raters could accurately determine the age of a child (ages 3
to 5) within one year, on average, of a childs actual age. Accurate assessments of
childrens ages may be especially adaptive so as to determine the type of care that is
appropriate for children at distinct developmental stages. Furthermore, easily ruling out
individuals who are not reproductively mature is also essential for mate choice. As such,
our data show that accuracy of age estimates remained consistently high for adolescents,
which supports our hypothesis that voice could be a good index to determine the age of
those experiencing the onset of reproductive viability. We suspect that the considerable
amount of hormonal changes that occur at the onset of puberty, which have profound
effects on both male and female voices (Arbitbol et al., 1999), is what makes it easy to
identify age based on voice at this developmental stage. Both the surges of testosterone
for boys and estrogen and progesterone for females at puberty lower the pitch of the
voices (Arbitbol et al., 1999), creating more mature, adult-sounding voices.
Although raters were most accurate in identifying the ages of children and
adolescents based on their voice, they were the least accurate for correctly identifying the
gender of those age groups (as compared to the adult age groups showing well over 90%
accuracy rates). Prior to puberty, male and female voices are more similar and
distinctions between each gender become more evident only after puberty when
hormonal influences change the voice in different ways for each sex (Arbitbol et al.,

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1999; Hagg & Taranger, 2003). Voice is seen as one of the most salient cues of sexual
maturity (Hagg & Taranger, 2003). Therefore, it makes sense that the age of a child can
be ascertained prior to puberty, whereas gender identification is more difficult.
Raters showed a general trend of underestimating age as speakers got older, and
this trend was largely independent of the raters own age or gender. Similarly, when
considering the absolute differences between age estimates and speakers actual ages,
there was a general decline in the accuracy of ratings as the speakers ages increased. In
our ancestral past, survival of individuals to an advanced older age was rare (Campbell &
Loy, 2000), so perhaps the ability to discern the age of elderly individuals was less
influenced by selection pressures. In addition to hormonal changes, there are also several
life experiences, such as how often one uses their voice and various habits (i.e., smoking,
singing, being exposed to toxic fumes, fire exhaust, allergens, etc.) which may influence
the sound of ones voice as they age, perhaps making the specificity of age detection
decline as a speaker ages. It is also possible that older individuals alter their voices to
sound younger as a deceptive tactic, and vocal disguise has shown to be an effective
means of changing perceived age (Lass et al., 1982). Nonetheless, it is impressive that
raters are still able to detect that these individuals are older despite being possibly masked
by several experiential influences.
Furthermore, in support of our hypothesis, age estimates made for female voices
during the menopausal years (age group 46-54), were more accurate than they were for
male voices, which suggests that people may be more sensitive to the vocal cues
associated with menopause. Several studies have shown that substantial vocal changes
occur during menopause (Amir & Biron-Shental, 2004; Schneider, van Trotsenburg,
Hanke, Bigenzahn, & Huber, 2004) which may be the proximate reason as to why raters
could accurately discern females age at that time. Additionally, our findings also
revealed that raters were more accurate in estimating the ages of female speakers who
were in the 23-34 age group as compared to males, suggesting that there is also
sensitivity to female voices for not only developmental stages of declining reproductive
viability, but also for detecting heightened reproductive/fertile years.
There was consistency in estimations among all rater age groups for each of the
speaker age groups with the exception of the oldest few speaker age groups. For this
eldest voice age group, there appeared to be a same peer-group advantage; the oldest rater
age group was the most accurate at assessing the ages of the oldest voice age group.
Perhaps this is the case because they are more familiar with and have greater exposure to
the vocal changes that occur with advancing age. Older male voices tend to have
increased volume and variability in volume, and older female voices tend to have lower
pitch and voice quality (Amir & Biron-Shental, 2004; Hummert, et al., 1999; Linville,
1987).
Our findings may have been affected by the fact that the distribution of raters
ages was not exactly proportionate to the distribution of our speakers ages. As such, it
would be interesting to also include children and/or adolescents as raters. Previous
studies have shown that judgments of voice attractiveness change during the advent of
sexual maturity (Saxton, Debruine, Jones, Little, & Roberts, 2009), and perhaps this may
also be the case for the ability to assess sexual maturity and perceived age based on
voice. Furthermore, the division of our age groups was based upon developmental
decades we felt were distinct to reproductive viability, and perhaps using other age
divisions would yield somewhat different findings. However, it did not appear that the
age divisions used showed profound effects on ratings since there was a general lack of
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peer group advantage when making ratings. It is also possible that the advantage in
identifying the age of women in the older age groups (e.g., menopausal-age women)
could have occurred due to the fact that this age would correspond with the age of many
of the participants mothers, thereby exposure to such voices would allow for better
assessment. Other factors that could influence age ratings for female voices include their
temporal location in menstrual cycle, contraceptive use, and the use of hormone
treatments post-menopause, as previous studies have shown that each of these factors can
influence vocal characteristics in women (Amir & Biron-Shental, 2004; Amir, KishonRabin, & Muchnik, 2002; Meurer, Garcez, Corleta, & Capp, 2007; Pipitone & Gallup,
2008; Schneider, et al., 2004). Future investigations could also document exact
information of the actual developmental state (i.e., records of menarche or menopause) of
the adolescents and menopausal-aged female participants, as this was a limitation in our
study. Objective acoustic features of the voices used in rater age assessment could also be
examined. It would also be interesting to measure any physiological responses elicited
from hearing voices across different ages so as to assess differential arousal responses
toward voices of particular reproductive ages. Furthermore, future studies could also
examine how important voice is as a cue for reproductive viability in comparison to other
various physical traits used to make such assessments.
Received July 16, 2010; First revision received October 17, 2010; Second revision received
November 9, 2010; Accepted November 10, 2010

References
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