Meet Mr. Fertility. . . he has a deep voice, a firm handshake, and lots of muscles. At least, that’s the conclusion of several studies linking physical characteristics to “successful sperm.”
A study of the Hadza tribe in Tanzania found that men with deeper voices were, ahem, responsible for more children than their higher-voiced peers. Over 40 percent more, in fact. Men with lower-pitched voices had about two more children on average than squeaky ones.
Since the Hadza don’t practice modern methods of birth control, the number of children born to each man was a pretty good sign of his reproductive success. The research team from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, had previously found that Western women also seem to find deeper male voices sexier, linking them with dominance, maturity, health, and masculinity.
Pair that deep voice with a firm handshake, and you’ve got a double threat. At the University at Albany, in upstate New York, evolutionary psychologist Gordon Gallup’s new research indicates that the hearty handshake that makes people wince may actually be an indicator of reproductive fitness. Men who grip hard tend to be more aggressive; they also tend to be healthier, live longer, and recover faster from injury. These lucky men often also have broad shoulders and narrow hips. Not surprisingly (sigh), they have what Gallup terms “increased sexual opportunities.” But don’t bother running out to buy grip-strengthening putty or exercise gadgets, since apparently your grip is determined mostly by genetics and the all-important testosterone levels that make for either bone-crusher or limp-fish handshakes.
If you don’t have the deep voice and impressive muscles of a Arnold Schwarzenegger, don’t despair. Sure, pumped-up Arnold is a dad, but so is non-macho Woody Allen.