August 07, 2005

Men do have trouble hearing women, scientists find

I think that I am in love.

"LONDON (AFP) - Men who are accused of never listening by women now have an excuse -- women's voices are more difficult for men to listen to than other men's, a report said.

The Daily Mail, quoting findings published in the specialist magazine

NeuroImage, said researchers at Sheffield university in northern England discovered startling differences in the way the brain responds to male and female sounds.

Men deciphered female voices using the auditory part of the brain that processes music, while male voices engaged a simpler mechanism, it said.

The Mail quoted researcher Michael Hunter as saying, "The female voice is actually more complex than the male voice, due to differences in the size and shape of the vocal cords and larynx between men and women, and also due to women having greater natural 'melody' in their voices.

"This causes a more complex range of sound frequencies than in a male voice."

The findings may help explain why people suffering hallucinations usually hear male voices, the

report added, as the brain may find it much harder to conjure up a false female voice accurately than a false male voice."


g_samsa said...

I've been browsing random blogs and yours seems more interesting than most. I can't believe scientists thought of this to study. I wonder if they employ a guy in the lab just to think up strange things to study.

Jack's Shack said...

Hi G,

There are a lot of questions that need to be answered. Sometimes it really is just a couple of people sitting down thinking about what life is like and why.

Irina Tsukerman said...

By that logic, musicians should have an easier time listening to women than regular men... Hmm.

callieischatty said...

I think you are awesome, I saw your comment on this guys blog about anti semitism in the church and you made my day.

You made my week.

Congrats. Well said.

Bill said...

This only proves my wife is a genius. She came to this conclusion long ago.

I only wish I wasn't the test subject in her exhaustive subclinical trial. :-)

Jack's Shack said...


You are in good company. :)

Neil said...

Finally, the perfect excuse.

ClooJew said...

Also, lulei demistafina, it doesn't help when the TV is on!

The Lioness said...


Jack, this was very interesting, I'd read it and forgotten it - new ammo now!

Jack's Shack said...

Neil, CJ and Lioness,

What can I tell you, some things just are.

rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Elayne Boosler has a great routine. She says, I'm going to tell you a secret, intimate conversation that goes on in the private space of the home, in EVERY relationship. And it goes something like this....

"WHAT?!?" "WHAT!!!"
"I didn't say anything."
"You whisper."
"You mumble."
"I do NOT!"
"Ohhh. THAT he heard."

Jack's Shack said...

That was a good joke. :)

dorothy rothschild said...

That Elayne Boosler bit reads like an excerpt from one of my and Mr. Benchley's conversation. He has a low, mumbly voice and I am constantly shouting "What? Huh? What did you say?" and sometimes I will say something to him three times before he hears me, mostly because his sweet head is usually in the clouds.

Stacey said...

DR: Airheaded, mumbling men. You gotta love 'em. ;)