Preference for Leaders with Masculine Voices Holds in the Case of Feminine Leadership Roles

Rindy C. Anderson, Casey A Klofstad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Human voice pitch research has focused on perceptions of attractiveness, strength, and social dominance. Here we examine the influence of pitch on selection of leaders, and whether this influence varies by leadership role. Male and female leaders with lower-pitched (i.e., masculine) voices are generally preferred by both men and women. We asked whether this preference shifts to favor higher-pitch (i.e., feminine) voices within the specific context of leadership positions that are typically held by women (i.e., feminine leadership roles). In hypothetical elections for two such positions, men and women listened to pairs of male and female voices that differed only in pitch, and were asked which of each pair they would vote for. As in previous studies, men and women preferred female candidates with masculine voices. Likewise, men preferred men with masculine voices. Women, however, did not discriminate between male voices. Overall, contrary to research showing that perceptions of voice pitch can be influenced by social context, these results suggest that the influence of voice pitch on perceptions of leadership capacity is largely consistent across different domains of leadership.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere51216
JournalPLoS One
Volume7
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 12 2012

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leadership
Pitch Perception
social dominance
Social Dominance
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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Preference for Leaders with Masculine Voices Holds in the Case of Feminine Leadership Roles. / Anderson, Rindy C.; Klofstad, Casey A.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 7, No. 12, e51216, 12.12.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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