It’s something both men and women around the world have suspected is true for centuries: that males who shout the loudest have the smallest balls.
The research with actual science behind it is, however, currently limited to Howler monkeys, a species native to Central and South America and who are named, unsurprisingly, because the males make an awful racket in an attempt to attract a mate.
Published in the academic journal Current Biology, the research has determined that there is a trade-off between the size of the larynx, coupled with a hollow bone in the throat known as the “hyoid”, and the testicles of male Howler monkeys. The bigger the thyoid, which acts as a voluminous amplifier of sound produced in the larynx, the smaller the balls, and the lower the capacity for sperm production.
Vocalizations serve two purposes: firstly, to shout down other males who might be competing for territory, and secondly, to attract female monkeys who – according to the research – are likely to be attracted to the deeper tones produced by the enlarged thyoids. This produces a rather interesting dichotomy in that the monkeys who shout the loudest are more likely to attract a mate, and yet be the least suitable for reproduction. In fact, the loudest males are shown to have balls which are 6.5 times smaller than the more quietly spoken chaps.
Comparisons with human beings are inevitable, because Howler monkeys are sort of a very distant cousin of ours, although given the behaviour of certain men in certain mating environments such as ‘nightclubs’, they may be more closely related than we thought. The fact that female Howler monkeys seem to be attracted to loud boys with small nuts may also explain why highly intelligent, softly spoken men will only ever meet pretty girls made of pixels, whilst men who run around on a small field chasing after an inflated bladder and shouting loudly at each other for a few hours every weekend seem to have an inexhaustible supply.
As the science is limited thus far to monkeys, any relation to humans is pure anecdotal speculation, however it has been conclusively proven that in at least one species, the more ostentatious the mating call, the smaller the balls.
A note about the author: Steve is a softly spoken, single man. No further inference should be drawn from this report.