God's gift to humans
I sat down this evening to tell you all about Australia; the incredible time I spent gallivanting around Queensland, holding koalas, basking in Byron Bay, drinking with locals in Brisbane, touring the opera house in Sydney. However, I found myself distracted by what you may ask? I couldn’t seem to stop thinking about my wonderful host, Amos’, gorgeous accent. Yea, you heard me.
I was intrigued by the thought of what exactly about the proper pronunciation of a vowel or extended constant makes me weak in the knees. Could there possibly be a scientific reason why an exotic accent makes me like putty in a guy’s hand? After a bit of research I found no systematic evidence of the spell accents seem to have over Americans. I did stumble upon an enthralling and comical piece called, Oui Ya’ll: Why Accents are so Attractive by writer Kathryn Williams.
Williams, like me was curious as to why these accents possess such power. Although there is no physiological reason why we are aroused by a certain accent and even turned off by others, we have discovered the link is subconscious.
It has a bit to do with “exoticism," we love that it is different from ourselves. When you’re involved with a man or woman with an accent it feels like you are traveling without leaving the country. An interaction with a foreign accent can almost make a person sense that they are “taking a walk on the wild side."
The main source of our enthrallment is the positive or negative association to past experiences. So when you hear a British accent your brain could be remembering the hunky exchange student in your biology class freshman year. We can all relate to Williams when she states “As a Southerner myself, my accent sometimes makes non-Southerners assume, at different times, my naivety, ignorance, or trustworthiness—all stereotypical characteristics of the uneducated hillbilly or overprotected Southern belle. Of course, that’s not always bad. I know exactly when to turn the accent on in order to turn someone on."
Media mainly has everything to do with our association with accents. Williams outlines the link ,“How many Scottish guys saw an increase in action after the movie Braveheart came out? South Africans, you can thank Leonardo DiCaprio for Blood Diamond. Spaniards, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz will gladly accept your gratitude for making Spain even sexier.... Matthew McConaughey… well, he didn’t even have to talk to give Southern men a good name.”
It is not just Americans that suffer from this kryptonite, non-Americans have told me they are subjected to the same arousal when hearing foreign accents. This was confirmed when I searched the top-10 sexiest accents and discovered Americans actually have made the cut as number 10. Chicago tribune polled 5,000 women worldwide and discovered these results: 1. Irish 2. Italian 3. Scottish 4. French 5. Australian 6. British 7. Swedish 8. Spanish 9. Welsh 10. American
So there you have it people. A little insight into why when your friend tells you she just met a British man, you squeal with delight. Enough of analyzing those sexy words that come out of their mouths, just enjoy! Accents are God’s gift to man.