A website called the Voicecel Test claims to be an accurate measurement of whether someone is an incel based on their voice frequency. According to the tool, someone classified as an incel solely according to their voice is referred to as a “voicecel.”
The “-cel” root of the word comes from “incel,” which is shorthand for “involuntarily celibate” and refers to online, male-dominated communities from the past decade dedicated to coping with their sexual frustration. While women can also be considered incels — a woman actually coined the term — a lot of the mainstream examples of incels are men, especially when it comes to the violence and extremism within the community.
Psychologist and dating expert Andrew G. Thomas told In The Know by Yahoo that the incel community tends to “blame feminism” for “artificially inflating the standards of women,” which has resulted in “excluding average and below average attractive men from sex and relationships.”
The Voicecel Test defines a voicecel as “someone with a squeaky unaesthetic high voice.” The argument is that “Chads,” the term for stereotypical yet conventionally attractive men, have lower voice frequencies and it’s an advantage when it comes to women.
According to Thomas, compared to incels’ anger toward women, “There tends to be less anger and hostility toward sexually successful men, or ‘Chads,’ mainly, I think, because incels recognize Chads are just doing what they themselves would do if they could.”
My Confidence is going through the roof right now pic.twitter.com/eXDgQlCh3t
— Average Engineer (@AverageProMax) September 10, 2023
Who created the Voicecel Test?
The site was created by Vers and Lukas, podcast co-hosts who both work in tech and prefer to maintain pseudoanon identities online. The duo sometimes go by their group name Raccoon Labs, which also created the “lossless clout lottery.”
Lukas told In The Know that he was in an X Space, formerly known as a Twitter Space, where someone argued that, “Everything you need to know about a person can be conveyed through their voice.”
“[Our] intern heard this and thought it would be really funny to give people a way to measure it quantitatively so people could form a hierarchy and decide which one of them has the most moral and objectively superior voice,” Lukas said.
Vers said he was immediately on board because he thought it would drive more traffic to their podcast.
“I never expected it to go instantly viral,” Vers added.
The two shared on X that it took them only $10 to build the program and six hours from idea to launch.
The voicecel project is an amazing success
Almost 1.5 mil visitors and growing rapidly in less than 24 hours (estimate)
Cost was $10😹
Time to build was less than 6 hours from idea to launch
If anyone wants to take advantage of my talents DMs are open 😏😏😏
— vers and lukas (podcast) (@versandlukas) September 10, 2023
“The reaction was probably about double what I was personally expecting,” Lukas said. “In retrospect, we’re huge idiots for not plastering the podcast branding all over the voice test results page everyone posted.”
Does voice matter when it comes to determining attractiveness?
“There is research showing that lower, deeper voices are more attractive in men. The issue is that, like most effects in psychology, these effects are not gigantic,” Thomas told In The Know. “But some incels will see a study about voice pitch having an association, disregard the strength of that association, overgeneralize, and think that they are doomed to a life of celibacy because they don’t have a naturally low pitch.”
In an essay for Sapiens, anthropologists revealed that there is an average 60% difference in pitch between men and women — a huge gap, especially considering the difference between male and female heights is only 8%. One study found that vocal masculinization is one of the most important traits transgender men undergoing testosterone therapy say they want to address.
Anthropology studies found that deep voices are often seen as indicators of stereotypically “masculine” and “alpha” traits from other men and women. But it’s not always a good thing; several studies reported that women tend to associate men with very deep voices with sexual infidelity and perceive them as being ideal for only short-term relationships.
“Incels believe that attracting women only works if you have looks, money and status,” Thomas agreed. “My personal view is that this is conflating women’s short-term partner desires with their long-term partner desires.”
My girlfriend broke up with me after I took the voicecel test
— ppigg (@s4m31p4n) September 11, 2023
Ultimately, the Voicecel Test was not intended to be taken seriously, according to the creators. The technology behind it isn’t conclusive — people on X claim they got different answers depending on language and environment — and if someone is told they’re within voicecel range, the site apologizes and adds in parentheses, “It’s over.”
“We didn’t even save anything on the backend. Dumb idea, because we could have gotten some funny content based on what people recorded themselves saying,” Vers said.
Vers also reiterated that the Voicecel Test was created to be a meme, so the final frequency number can be affected by background noise and microphone quality — it’s not flawless.
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