A man’s voice, especially a baritone or a bass, seems to emanate from a barrel. It is deeper and more resonant than a woman’s and represents one of the most striking differences between male and female. Women have favored deep-voiced men over the course of eons, ensuring survival of this sexual trait. There is no question about this: The male voice projects more authority than a woman’s. But, does this vocal difference matter in everyday life?
I say it does. It matters not just in relations between the sexes, but to family life as well. Together with the feminine sound, it creates an aural environment that is complete. Children who grow up without men in their homes miss what Lydia Sherman calls the “sound of reassurance.”
The male voice also matters in politics and leadership. A woman cannot project the same commanding tone when she speaks. A woman’s voice rarely inspires fear. It is never thunderous. A female platoon commander needs to work hard to keep from sounding shrill. Sound matters.
Lydia, of Home Living, writes:
We are caring for a 95-year-old woman named “Nanny” who is my son-in-law’s grandmother. During this time I noticed something interesting. She becomes quite anxious if her grandson (almost 40) is not sitting beside or talking to her. I wondered if the sound of a man’s voice is very comforting to her. I talk to my own father, and when I hear his voice, it is like the world settles down for me. There is something very, very important in a man’s voice.
It is not good that children are raised only around women, and not around the male voice. I was thinking more and more about that male voice and how important it is. I felt it while watching the movie, The Bostonians. The main male character was almost the only male voice of any importance, and when he spoke, the words were never trivial. I know such a man in his 80’s. His conversation is never trite. His words are loaded. He never speaks without imparting a truth. His voice is deep. My son-in-law’s voice is deep, and almost grave. Yet, he sings in a tenor voice.
President Teddy Roosevelt had a high-pitched voice when speaking, and yet he was “rough and ready,” and very masculine. But generally the man’s voice is so different from a woman’s. There is nothing like a Daddy’s voice, even if he is a distant person (as many of them seemed in the old days). It is a sound of reassurance.
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