• Question: Do your genes affect your attitude in your voice?

    Asked by hollyd to Sarah on 25 Jan 2018.
    • Photo: Sarah Knight

      Sarah Knight answered on 25 Jan 2018:

      Interesting question! It depends on what you mean by “attitude”. Our genes can affect the way our voices sound, because the sound of our voices depends partly on the size and shape of the bits of our bodies that produce our voices. We have a “voice box” in our throat, and when we talk air from our lungs makes our “vocal cords” — bit of tissues stretched across the voice box — vibrate. These vibrations make the sounds of speech, singing or laughing. Depending on the size and shape of the vocal cords, our voices will have different sounds and be high or lower. The size and shape of our mouth and tongue can also change the way our voices sound.

      But our environment is also important, as well as our genes. The way our voices sound depend on what was going on around us while we learned to speak — for example, we might have a particular accent or style of speaking we learned when we were children from the adults around us. Our environment can also shape our character and personality traits, and that will affect how we use our voices in different situations.

      So, a combination of genes and other things give our voices a particular character!