G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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I wonder how much things like voice pitch affects job status and wages. There is more and more evidence that people with lower voices are viewed as being more confident and better leaders than people with high-pitched voices. Surely that translates to better jobs and higher wages. The Atlantic has the latest research:
Study after study has suggested that low voices, “masculine” voices, are an asset to those seeking leadership roles, in politics and beyond. And that’s so in part because we don’t simply think of vocal pitch–the physical trait determined by the size of one’s larynx and the length and mass of one’s vocal folds–in terms of physicality. We prefer low voices because, we assume, voices say something far beyond the words they convey: We perceive men with lower-pitched voices to be more attractive and physically stronger–and also more competent and more trustworthy–than their less burly-voiced peers. And we perceive women with lower-pitched voices along the same lines (though we also tend to perceive them, tellingly, as less attractive than their Betty Boop-y counterparts).
What’s more, our preference for low-voiced leaders holds true, it seems, for those in–and seeking–traditionally “feminine” leadership roles. A new study, published in the journal PLOSOne, has documented a bias toward low-pitched voices even when the owners of those voices are seeking to lead female-dominated bodies like school boards and PTAs. “Overall,” the authors note, “contrary to research showing that perceptions of voice pitch can be influenced by social context, these results suggest that the influence of voice pitch on perceptions of leadership capacity is largely consistent across different domains of leadership.”
While feminists attribute wage gaps to misogyny and such, it would be nice to look at wage differentials across the voice spectrum. Take two men of equal education and experience and see which one earns more money. If the deeper-voiced man (or taller one) earns more money for the same work then we obviously have a dominance gap rather than a gender gap.
I wrote previously on a thought I had while working on a construction site with my dad.
During our time working in Texas, my dad and I worked with a job site foreman named Jeff, a big, hard-scrabble guy with a domineering personality and a gruff voice but with enough of a blunted edge to get you to like him. Jeff was an alpha persona for a particular line of work that requires bossing other men around.
The simple thought occurred to me while I was up on a scissor lift blocking out the side of a corrugated building: the percentage of female Jeff’s in the world – female job-site forepersons out of all forepersons- has to be very near zero. A female could not command the respect or light the right size fires under the right asses in order to make her way in this line of work. People just wouldn’t want to listen to her as readily as they do to Jeff which would render her an ineffective leader. When you consider the career paths of millions of people and the tiny nudges that push them up corporate ladders, we can clearly see why executive ranks are mostly dominated by men.
This is why feminists hate evolutionary psychology, though they hate it for the wrong reasons. Evo psych doesn’t justify sexism. Evo psych justifies choices that tend to fall along sexually bifurcated lines.