A woman's voice becomes "sexier" when she is ovulating, according to a new study published in the April issue of the journal Human Evolution and Behavior.
Researchers from the State University of New York at Albany studied the recordings of women's voices taken at different points in their menstrual cycles. The recordings were played for both sexes and women who were most fertile were found to have the more alluring voices, according to listeners.
Researchers for the study, republished in the May 1 issue of New Scientist, say the findings suggest that sex hormones can alter the workings of the voice box but added that most changes are too subtle to pick up on a day-to-day basis.
The fact that men notice the differences in vocal attractiveness suggests there is a subtle evolutionary battle of the sexes going on, study author Gordon Gallup Jr. of SUNY Albany told New Scientist.
Dr. Manny Alvarez, managing health editor of FOXNews.com, said there is a possible link between a female's hormonal surges, and what appears to be a sexier voice.
"There is definite hormonal changes when women are ovulating from the combination of high estrogen and also some pituitary hormones," Alvarez said. "There's no doubt that estrogen plays a significant role in not only the reproductive aspects of a woman, but also in her overall femininity."
As women evolve ever more efficient ways to conceal fertility — to avoid unwanted attention — men become increasingly sensitive to the tiny changes that do occur, Gallup said. Other women also pick up on the changes, perhaps to keep an eye on the competition, he said.