Sign up for the Cut's newsletter
Some potential good news for people who suck at flirting (basically, all of us and everyone): A forthcoming study from the journal Evolution & Human Behavior reveals that none of the tropes of flirting (lip-licking, eye-fucking, embarrassing "accidental" arm-touching) are really necessary, because a large part of the seduction game has to do with the subconscious vocal patterns that men adopt when speaking to women they find beautiful.
Researchers at University of Stirling observed heterosexual men as they flirted with attractive women. They noticed that when male participants were flirting, their voices dropped to a lower register and took on a sing-songy pattern, similar to how we speak to babies. Or dogs. Or baby dogs. Even better, says the study, this not only indicates attraction, but actually “increases the speakers odds of getting laid.”
Yes, shockingly, women seemed to reward being spoken to in tones that are used to soothe an infant because of "evolution." Explains one researcher, the modulation could potentially enable men to signal both their masculinity and lack of threat simultaneously, which is obviously all we’re really looking for in a man.
But guys: Remember that this is a subconscious reaction, determined by some evolutionary biology that we have absolutely no control over. Use of intentional baby- and puppy-soothing voice should never actually be deployed as a means of seduction.