Don’t take that tone! Researchers say the pitch of your voice may be linked to your genetics after finding that DNA mutations are linked to people with higher pitched tones
- Scientists combined voice recordings from nearly 13,000 Icelanders
- They found that part of the DNA is linked to a higher voice
If you find that your high-pitched voice is holding you back in life, blame your parents.
For the first time, scientists have discovered a gene that determines whether your voice is hoarse and deep – or quite the opposite.
In the first study of its kind, scientists combined voice recordings from nearly 13,000 Icelanders with data.
They found the part of DNA – called ABCC9 – that is linked to a higher-pitched voice in both men and women. The ABCC9 gene sequence has also been linked to heart health.
Researchers at Icelandic company Decode Genetics say that having a genetically higher voice may make you more prone to heart problems.
For the first time, scientists have discovered a gene that determines whether your voice is hoarse and deep – or quite the opposite
Researchers at Icelandic company Decode Genetics (pictured) say that having a genetically higher pitched voice can make you more prone to heart problems
In Science Advances, the authors write that previous research has found that men with deeper voices may have higher testosterone levels, more upper body strength, be more fathers, and are perceived as more attractive and dominant.
Research has also shown that they run larger companies.
The pitch difference between an average male and female is “greater than that of any other monkey,” the authors say.
The authors say that the depth of male human voices was likely the result of sexual selection in the past—in other words, men with deeper voices were more successful sexually.
How exactly the gene makes a voice lower or higher is not yet known.
But the ABBC9 gene has an effect on the adrenal gland, which produces several steroids known to affect vocal pitch, which are later converted by the body into testosterone and other sex hormones.
The gene linked to voice pitch is also linked to higher blood pressure and poorer heart health, the authors say.
Aside from genes playing a role in how deep or different your voice is, the authors say that a voice that varies widely in pitch is a sign of an “open” personality and verbal fluency.
The authors also point out that “lively” speech, as opposed to monotonous speech, is only due to “increased verbal skills” and being able to read better.
While the authors concede that the influence of genes on vocal pitch is “small to modest,” they say the effect is comparable in magnitude to other heritable traits such as major depression and personality.