Another thing Thatcher was right about: People even prefer leaders in feminine roles to have a deep voice, new research shows


Another thing Thatcher was right about: People even prefer leaders in feminine roles to have a deep voice, new research showsFormer PM had lessons to lower her voice to make it sound authoritative

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UPDATED:

22:03 GMT, 12 December 2012


Elocution lessons: Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher was taught to speak in a lower pitch, and now research shows she was right

Elocution lessons: Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher was taught to speak in a lower pitch, and now research shows she was right

Even women prefer leaders in typically female roles to have a Thatcheresque deep voice, research has shown.

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher famously had elocution lessons to lower her voice and make it sound more masculine and authoritative.

She was advised – correctly, in light of subsequent research – that members of the public would find this more appealing.

Studies have demonstrated that both men and women prefer leaders of both sexes in politics or business to have lower voices.

The new research shows this rule even extends to leadership positions traditionally occupied by women.

Scientists
in the U.S. tested the effect with simulated elections for two feminine
leadership roles, president of a parent-teachers organisation (PTO) and
membership of a school board.

Volunteers
were asked to listen to pairs of candidates with differently pitched
voices speaking the phrase 'I urge you to vote for me this November'.

Both
men and women preferred female candidates with lower, more masculine
voices, the study published in the online journal Public Library of
Science ONE found.

While women did not discriminate between the male voices they heard, men favoured those that were deeper.

Study
leader Dr Casey Klofstad, from the University of Miami, said: 'We often
do not consider how our biology can influence our decision-making.

'The results of this study show that voice pitch – a physiological characteristic – can affect how we select leaders.'