Masculine Men Mumble? (study)

A joint study from Professor Vera Kempe (The University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland) and two members of the PUTS lab. (Pennsylvania State University, US), Professor David A. Puts, and Dr. Rodrigo A. Cárdenas, has, possibly for the first time, investigated the proposition that ‘Masculine Men Articulate Less Clearly’ (in: Human Nature journal, December 2013, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 461-475). Their study, which explored whether physical and vocal indicators of male mate quality and threat potential are linked to effective communicative behaviors such as vowel differentiation and use of more salient phonetic variants of consonants, found that :

“[...] taller, more masculine men display less clarity in their speech and prefer phonetic variants that may be associated with masculine attributes such as toughness.”

Here are three videos in which the participants, whom many regard(ed) as masculine, display varying degrees of clarity in their speech.

Bonus Task: If you can come up with a two-word sentence which sums-up the phenomenon, Improbable would like to hear from you.

  • jcmiss

    I think these are lazy speakers, in some cases….shy speakers in others.

  • beyondliberal

    Very limited or absent jaw excursion results in vowel distortion. By definition, vowels are open and unobstructed productions without valving of the airstream. On the other hand, consonants are the result of valving of the airstream by the tongue, soft palate, and lips.
    My position as a speech pathologist is that the more macho the man, the more closed the jaw tends to be. Culturally, such men are said to “have a firm jaw”; hence, their distorted speech.

  • David Williams

    Talk tough

  • AlternatePerspective

    Two words?
    NeanderTALLian emotiveness
    Mutter Mouths
    Inelegant pauciloquency

  • AlternatePerspective

    Truncated Articulation
    Oratorically Inhibited
    Impeded Monologuist