It is now true that men and women alter their voices to make it sound sexually appealing when they talk to people they want to be romantically involved with. The same people spoke differently with same-sex friends.
During the study, experts studied 24 callers who were newly in love and still in the "honeymoon" period. The callers were asked to speak over the phone to their romantic partners, as well as to a close same-sex friend.
Later the recorded conversations were played to 80 independent raters who judged the samples for sexiness, pleasantness and level of romantic interest. The judges were easily able to identity when callers were speaking to their romantic lovers and same-sex friend.
"It's not just that we change the sound of our voice, but that others can easily perceive those changes," researcher Susan Hughes, an expert in evolutionary psychology said.
"Vocal samples directed toward romantic partners were rated as sounding more pleasant, sexier and reflecting greater romantic interest than those directed toward same-sex friends. There was vulnerability associated with the voices of those newly in love. Perhaps people don't want to be rejected," Hughes reasoned.