The pitch of adult voices may be largely determined in the womb

The pitch of voices–higher, lower, etc.–affects “our impressions of a person’s physical and social dominance, attractiveness, and trust.”  Voice pitch, and the impressions it creates throughout life affecting how people are treated, has real-world consequences.

A new study suggests “the pitch of babies’ cries at 4 months old may predict the pitch of their speech at age 5.”

Previous research has shown that “the pitch of a person’s voice stays basically the same during adulthood and that how we sound as adults may be determined before puberty.”  At age 7, the pitch of a boy’s voice “can mostly predict what he will sound like as an adult.”

This new research takes the time back even farther; “a substantial proportion of the difference between how we sound in adulthood may be traceable back to the time we spend in utero.”

Many important things happen to a fetus in the womb–things that can impact life even as an adult.

More research is needed to confirm these correlations.  Read the article (Matt Stevens, New York Times, July 16, 2018).


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