Effect of Phonation on Perception of Femininity/Masculinity in Transgender and Cisgender Speakers

Nichole Houle, Susannah V. Levi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Many transwomen seek voice and communication therapy to support their transition from their gender assigned at birth to their gender identity. This has led to an increased need to examine the perception of gender and femininity/masculinity to develop evidence-based intervention practices. In this study, we explore the auditory perception of femininity/masculinity in normally phonated and whispered speech. Transwomen, ciswomen, and cismen were recorded producing /hVd/ words. Naïve listeners rated femininity/masculinity of a speaker's voice using a visual analog scale, rather than completing a binary gender identification task. The results revealed that listeners rated speakers more ambiguously in whispered speech than normally phonated speech. An analysis of speaker and token characteristics revealed that in the normally phonated condition listeners consistently use f0 to rate femininity/masculinity. In addition, some evidence was found for possible contributions of formant frequencies, particularly F2, and duration. Taken together, this provides additional evidence for the salience of f0 and F2 for voice and communication intervention among transwomen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Voice
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Femininity
  • Gender
  • Masculinity
  • Transgender
  • Voice
  • Voice perception
  • Whisper

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN

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