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HIgher Trumps Deeper in Terms of "Competent" Female Voices

Update Date: May 29, 2014 07:29 PM EDT
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Manly women are less likely to get hired after interviews, according to a new surprising study.

While confident handshakes, impressive resumes and self-assured attitudes are essential qualities to making a successful applicant; new research reveals that a confident voice might actually harm female job seekers.

The latest findings reveal that recruiters are less likely to hire women with deep, husky voices because they perceive them has less educated and competent.

After evaluating how other people perceived women with croaky" voices, researchers at the University of Miami found that women with "vocal fry," low vocal ranges previous studies linked to education and power, were perceived as less attractive, competent, educated and trustworthy.

"Our results show that the vocal fry fad is a hindrance to young women who are trying to find work," said Casey Klofstad of the University of Miami, according to Daily Mail.

"Lack of experience due to their younger age, a historically poor economic environment and sex discrimination are all barriers to labor market success for this demographic," she added.

"Given this context, our findings suggest that young women would be best advised to avoid using vocal fry when trying to secure employment," Klofstad advised.

The latest study involved seven women between the ages of 19 and 27 and seven men aged 20 to 30 Participants were asked to say the phrase: "Thank you for considering me for this opportunity," in their normal voice and in a deliberately croaky voice.

Researchers then recruited 800 participants who were asked to listen to each recording and pretend to be recruiters. Participants were asked to decide whether people with 'normal' or "croaky" voices were a more educated, competent, trustworthy or attractive.

The findings revealed that people with croaky voices were only hired 20 percent of the time compared to those with normal sounding voices. The study also revealed that people with croaky voices were less likely to be perceived as educated, competent, trustworthy or attractive.

Furthermore, women with croaky voices were significantly more likely to be perceived negatively compared to men with croaky voices.

"While strange sounding voices might be more memorable because they are novel, humans find 'average' sounding voices to be more attractive," Klofstad said.

"It is possible that speakers of vocal fry are generally perceived less favorably because vocal fry is accompanied by a dramatic reduction in voice pitch relative to normal speech," he added.

"Previous studies show that when women try to lower the pitch of their voice they are perceived as less attractive," Klofstad said.

"You could view the results we found as an extension of this to an economic context, whereby deliberate lowering of voice pitch in a sex-atypical manner by women through vocal fry results in negative perceptions by potential employers," he concluded.

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