Why a Woman Can Outtalk a Man

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Why a Woman Can Outtalk a Man  (1916) 
From Popular Science Monthly/Volume 88

Why a Woman Can Outtalk a Man

A WOMAN can talk longer than a man, and does so because she uses less force by a larger percentage than a man does. A German professor has proved by actual and very delicate measurements that the baritone singer uses far more energy than either. The range of voice differs greatly, so the percentage varies to the same extent, but as a general result it was proved that a tenor uses only from one-seventh to one-sixteenth of the lung power of the baritone or bass. The difference in the force used by the contralto and soprano is very marked, and the contralto who sings in very deep tones uses at least ten times the force of the soprano.

The explanation is so simple that it is surprising that it was not thought of long ago. It has long been known that the tenor or soprano brings the vocal chords together and keeps the edges vibrating only by the emission of air. The bass or contralto leaves the space between the chords wider open, and has to vibrate much more of the membranes.