Science

Women with ‘vocal fry’ like the Kardashians are seen as less intelligent and attractive, study finds

Many celebrities, like Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and Julia Fox, speak with ‘vocal fry’ – a raspy, low voice that drags out certain syllables.

The low drawl is a common way of speaking in California, but has been picked up across the world thanks to the popularity of American media.

Unfortunately for those who’ve adopted the accent, a new study has found that women who speak with it are seen as less intelligent and attractive.

However, the University of Florida researchers did not find any difference in the impression it gave when used by men.

Many Celebrities, Like Kim Kardashian (Pictured), Paris Hilton And Julia Fox, Speak With 'Vocal Fry' - A Raspy, Low Voice That Drags Out Certain Syllables

Many celebrities, like Kim Kardashian (pictured), Paris Hilton and Julia Fox, speak with ‘vocal fry’ – a raspy, low voice that drags out certain syllables

A New Study Has Found That Women Who Speak With Vocal Fry Are Seen As Less Intelligent And Attractive. Pictured: Average Attractiveness Ratings For People With And Without Vocal Fry

A New Study Has Found That Women Who Speak With Vocal Fry Are Seen As Less Intelligent And Attractive. Pictured: Average Attractiveness Ratings For People With And Without Vocal Fry

A new study has found that women who speak with vocal fry are seen as less intelligent and attractive. Pictured: Average attractiveness ratings for people with and without vocal fry

WHAT IS ‘VOCAL FRY’? 

‘Vocal fry’ involves elongating certain syllables so that they vibrate at the back of the throat, creating a tapping sound like a stick running along a railing. 

With vocal fry, the phrase ‘no way’ becomes ‘no waaaaaaay’ and ‘whatever’ turns into ‘whateverrrrrr’.

It is compared to the way Britney Spears croaks out the line ‘Oh baby, baby’ in her number one hit ‘Baby One More Time’. 

Vocal fry sounds are usually used at the end of a sentence when users dip into lower, creaky notes.

It is compared to the way Britney Spears croaks out the line ‘Oh baby, baby’ in her number one hit ‘Baby One More Time’. 

A 2016 experiment by researchers at Louisiana State University found 86 per cent of students tested vocal fry in normal speech when asked to repeat a list of made-up words.

Experts have previously suggested that women tend to pick it up in order to seem more masculine, and so are better able to take on men in the workplace.

Others have described it as potentially ‘vocally damaging’, as, in severe cases, it can cause laryngeal tension and vocal fatigue.

However, because studies have noted that vocal fry is only being used when making non-vowel sounds, its widespread use is likely to be habitual due to hearing so many young stars speak this way.

For this study, published in Elsevier’s Journal of Voice, the US-based researchers wanted to discover how using vocal fry altered people’s perception of the speaker.

They recruited 29 participants to listen to 36 recorded samples of both male and female voices speaking with and without vocal fry.

The participants were asked to rate each sample on a five-point scale on either likeability and predicted salary, or intelligence and attractiveness.

For This Study, Published In Elsevier¿S Journal Of Voice , The Us-Based Researchers Wanted To Discover How Using Vocal Fry Altered People'S Perception Of The Speaker. Pictured: Average Intelligence Ratings For People With And Without Vocal Fry

For This Study, Published In Elsevier¿S Journal Of Voice , The Us-Based Researchers Wanted To Discover How Using Vocal Fry Altered People'S Perception Of The Speaker. Pictured: Average Intelligence Ratings For People With And Without Vocal Fry

For this study, published in Elsevier’s Journal of Voice , the US-based researchers wanted to discover how using vocal fry altered people’s perception of the speaker. Pictured: Average intelligence ratings for people with and without vocal fry

The Results Revealed That Female Speakers With Vocal Fry Were Perceived As Less Intelligent Than Male Speakers With Vocal Fry, Plus Speakers Without Vocal Fry Regardless Of Gender. Pictured: Kris Jenner, Kylie Jenner And Khloe Kardashian All Speak With The California Drawl

The Results Revealed That Female Speakers With Vocal Fry Were Perceived As Less Intelligent Than Male Speakers With Vocal Fry, Plus Speakers Without Vocal Fry Regardless Of Gender. Pictured: Kris Jenner, Kylie Jenner And Khloe Kardashian All Speak With The California Drawl

The results revealed that female speakers with vocal fry were perceived as less intelligent than male speakers with vocal fry, plus speakers without vocal fry regardless of gender. Pictured: Kris Jenner, Kylie Jenner and Khloe Kardashian all speak with the California drawl

The results revealed that female speakers with vocal fry were perceived as less intelligent than male speakers with vocal fry, plus speakers without vocal fry regardless of gender.

They were also rated as less attractive than females without vocal fry, but not significantly different to male speakers regardless of their voice. 

‘Listeners may hold female speakers without vocal fry as the prototype of an attractive voice, and anything different is subpar,’ the researchers wrote. 

Male speakers, on the other hand, did not receive the same level of judgement, as the presence of vocal fry did not affect their perceived attractiveness and intelligence.

The researchers did not find a link between how much the speaker was thought to earn and the linguistic phenomenon, nor their likeability.

The Results Suggested That, As It Gives The Speaker A Low Pitch, It Is Less Jarring To Hear It In Male Voices, Which Are Typically Lower Than Female Voices. Pictured: Julia Fox Speaks With Vocal Fry

The Results Suggested That, As It Gives The Speaker A Low Pitch, It Is Less Jarring To Hear It In Male Voices, Which Are Typically Lower Than Female Voices. Pictured: Julia Fox Speaks With Vocal Fry

The results suggested that, as it gives the speaker a low pitch, it is less jarring to hear it in male voices, which are typically lower than female voices. Pictured: Julia Fox speaks with vocal fry

It was concluded that women who use vocal fry are more likely to be perceived negatively as a result.

The researchers suggested that, as it gives the speaker a low pitch, it is less jarring to hear it in male voices, which are typically lower than female voices.

They wrote: ‘Listeners may not dislike listening to vocal fry, so much as they dislike listening to female speakers with lower fundamental frequencies.

‘It is possible people tolerate low frequencies characteristic of vocal fry in male speakers simply because that is the most common context in which we experience them.’

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Why made-up swear words are ideal around young ears 

Swearing can sometimes seem impossible to avoid, especially after stubbing a toe or discovering a parking ticket.

But for those times when swearing is not an option, like at work or when in charge of a small child, psychologists may be able to help with some alternatives.

A new study suggests saying ‘sugar’ instead of the ruder alternative sounds less like a swear word, as does blighter instead of b*gger.

British people have the right idea when they talk about someone getting a ‘rollicking’ instead of the word which rhymes with it – a b******ing.

The theory behind these alternative swear words comes from a study led by Royal Holloway, University of London.

Read more here 

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Jacky

The author of what'snew2day.com is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on the latest news and information.

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