Sexual selection on male vocal fundamental frequency in humans and other anthropoids
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In many primates, including humans, the vocalizations of males and females differ dramatically, with male vocalizations and vocal anatomy often seeming to exaggerate apparent body size. These traits may be favoured by sexual selection because low-frequency male vocalizations intimidate rivals and/or attract females, but this hypothesis has not been systematically tested across primates, nor is it clear why competitors and potential mates should attend to vocalization frequencies. Here we show across anthropoids that sexual dimorphism in fundamental frequency (F0) increased during evolutionary transitions towards polygyny, and decreased during transitions towards monogamy. Surprisingly, humans exhibit greater F0 sexual dimorphism than any other ape. We also show that low-F0 vocalizations predict perceptions of men’s dominance and attractiveness, and predict hormone profiles (low cortisol and high testosterone) related to immune function. These results suggest that low male F0 signals condition to competitors and mates, and evolved in male anthropoids in response to the intensity of mating competition.
Puts , D A , Hill , A K , Bailey , D H , Walker , R S , Rendall , D , Wheatley , J R , Welling , L L M , Dawood , K , Cárdenas , R , Burriss , R P , Jablonski , N G , Shriver , M D , Weiss , D , Lameira , A R , Apicella , C L , Owren , M J , Barelli , C , Glenn , M E & Ramos-Fernandez , G 2016 , ' Sexual selection on male vocal fundamental frequency in humans and other anthropoids ' Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , vol. 283 , no. 1829 , 2830 . DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.2830
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
© 2016 The Authors, Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created accepted version manuscript following peer review and as such may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.2830
DescriptionD.A.P. was supported by a National Institutes of Mental Health T32 MH70343-05 fellowship. J.R.W. was supported by a National Science Foundation predoctoral fellowship.
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