The sound of symmetry. Voice as a marker of developmental instability

Susan M. Hughes, Marissa Harrison, Gordon G. Gallup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Low fluctuating asymmetry (FA, a measure of deviation from bilateral symmetry) appears to be a phenotypic marker of reproductive viability and health. In the present study, we investigated whether ratings of voice attractiveness were correlated with variations in FA. Several bilateral traits were measured to calculate a FA index and independent raters who did not know and never saw the subjects assessed the attractiveness of recordings of each subject's voice. Voices of subjects with greater bilateral symmetry were rated as more attractive by members of both sexes than those with asymmetrical traits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-180
Number of pages8
JournalEvolution and Human Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 8 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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