30/04/2009 16:14 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Women's Voices Go Up When Ready To Conceive

How does a woman signal to a man that she is fertile and about to ovulate? Researchers have found that women raise the pitch of their voice when talking in social situations; the better the timing for conception, the higher the pitch. This, apparently, makes them more attractive to members of the opposite sex.

The researchers at the University of California recorded female undergraduate students and noted that they spoke in higher tones when they were nearer to an egg being released. The difference, however, only showed up when they said a sentence they would normally say in a social setting, such as "hi, I'm a student at UCLA." The change was not apparent for simple vowel sounds.

A study at the State University of New York recently found that men and women both preferred female voices more when the speaker was more fertile; perhaps now we know why. Perhaps, also, we know why sopranos always get the lead roles...