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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 February 2006, 14:57 GMT
Barry tones beat Blunt's vocals
Barry White
Women were found to prefer the deep tones of Barry White's voice
Women are more likely to prefer the deep tones of Barry White to the higher pitched vocals of James Blunt when looking for a mate, scientists believe.

Research at St Andrews University found women prefer men with masculine voices, especially during their fertile phase.

They like men with dominant voices as they are thought to indicate long-term health and higher reproductive success.

It follows research findings that women during their fertile phase prefer men with more masculine faces.

However, the researchers found that when not fertile, women were more likely to be attracted to a more feminine voice signalling a more caring man, more likely to invest in a long-term relationship.

'Mating success'

Researchers said only attractive, feminine women did not vary preference over the menstrual cycle, possibly because they may find it easier to establish a long-term relationship with men with deep voices, indicative of high levels of testosterone.

Dr David Feinberg, St Andrews University researcher, said: "We already know male vocal attractiveness is highly related to masculinity and men with attractive voices have more mating success than men with unattractive voices.

James Blunt
James Blunt's voice held an attractiveness for some women

"We asked women to assess attractiveness and dominance of voices across the menstrual cycle and predicted that preference for masculinity in men's voices would be stronger when conception risk is high.

"Women's preferences for masculine voices change over the menstrual cycle: women prefer masculine voices more when fertile."

Dr Feinberg added: "But, the menstrual cycle does not affect every woman's preferences equally.

"While we normally think that masculine men are more out for one-night stands than marriage, our research suggests that highly attractive and feminine women can get these masculine men to look for commitment."

The research is published in the latest issue of science journal Hormones and Behaviour.

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