Acoustic Correlates of Perceived versus Actual Sexual Orientation in Men’s Speech

  title={Acoustic Correlates of Perceived versus Actual Sexual Orientation in Men’s Speech},
  author={Sue Ellen Linville},
  journal={Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica},
  pages={35 - 48}
  • S. Linville
  • Published 1 February 1998
  • Psychology
  • Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica
The purpose of this study was to explore possible differences in the speech patterns of gay and straight men, both as a function of perceived and actual sexual orientation. Tape recordings of monologue readings from 5 openly gay men and 4 straight men were played to 25 listeners for judgments of perceived sexual orientation. Monologues were analyzed in terms of /s/ duration, /s/ peak frequency, modal speaking fundamental frequency, speech rate, and long-term average speech spectra. Listeners… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Male voices and perceived sexual orientation: An experimental and theoretical approach

This article describes the development of a data bank of 25 male voices spanning the range from very gay-sounding to very straight-sounding, according to listener ratings. These ratings allowed the

The Acoustic Correlates of Perceived Masculinity, Perceived Femininity, and Perceived Sexual Orientation

Recognition analyses suggest that perceived sexual orientation, perceived masculinity, and perceived femininity are distinct but correlated perceptual parameters.

"Do I Sound Straight?": Acoustic Correlates of Actual and Perceived Sexual Orientation and Masculinity/Femininity in Men's Speech.

Evidence is found that actual masculinity/femininity and the degree of sexual orientation were reflected in gay and straight men's speech, and differences within groups are more important than differences between them.


This article describes a controlled experiment designed to determine what people listen to specifically when judging a speaker’s sexuality. Four experimental stimuli were produced by digitally

Bisexuality and /s/ production

  • C. Willis
  • Sociology
    Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America
  • 2021
The belief that there are systematic differences in speech production as a function of sexual orientation has inspired a vast body of linguistic research investigating the acoustic correlates of

The influence of perceived sexual orientation on fricative identification.

Results suggest that listeners are sensitive to the association between fricatives' center frequencies and perceived sexual orientation in women's voices, but not in men's voices.

Investigating the common set of acoustic parameters in sexual orientation groups: A voice averaging approach

This work is the first to use a novel voice morphing technique to create voice averages from voices that represent extremes of a given sexual orientation group either in terms of actual or perceived sexual orientation, and suggests that sexual-orientation stereotypes exaggerate even those differences present in the most salient groups of speakers.

Speech Acoustic Features: A Comparison of Gay Men, Heterosexual Men, and Heterosexual Women

Results showed that homosexual men displayed significantly higher pitch modulation patterns and less breathy voices compared to heterosexual men, with values shifted toward those of heterosexual women, and it is suggested that the feminization of some acoustic features could be shared across languages.



A Study of the Relationship of Certain Variables to Sex Characteristic Identification From the Speech of Heterosexual and Homosexual Individuals.

This study explored relationships of speaker sex and masculinity-femininity judgments and 12 measures of rate, fundamental frequency, and intensity from taped reading and spontaneous speech samples

Sexual characteristics of preadolescent childrens' voices.

The results of this work suggest that cues stemming from differences in vocal tract dimensions and/or articulatory behaviors provided the primary cues about the sexual identity of these preadolescent children.

Acoustic characteristics of less-masculine-sounding male speech.

  • J. AveryJ. Liss
  • Physics, Psychology
    The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
  • 1996
Findings may be useful in creating stylized synthetic speech that varies on the dimension of masculinity, and they may have clinical relevance for patients wishing to modify the perception of masculinity invoked by their speech.

Acoustic characteristics of perceived versus actual vocal age in controlled phonation by adult females.

Results of this investigation suggest that both phonatory and resonance features play a role in defining age characteristics of women's voices.

The voice of personality: stereotyped judgments and their relation to voice quality and sex of speaker.

There were correlations between personality judgments from the voices and the vocal characteristics of the voices, particularly with reference to the speaker's sex.


\M ANY GAY, LESBIAN, AND BISEXUAL PEOPLE can recall the pre-coming-out experience of rifling through dictionaries, encyclopedias, and textbook indexes, nervously seeking any reference at all that

Speaker sex identification from voiced, whispered, and filtered isolated vowels.

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the relative importance of the speaker’s laryngeal fundamental frequency and vocal tract resonance characteristics in speaker sex identification

Identification of speaker sex from isolated, voiceless fricatives.

  • M. F. Schwartz
  • Physics
    The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
  • 1968
Investigation of the ability of listeners to identify speaker sex from isolated productions of /f/, /θ/, /s/, and /∫/.

Perceptions of Female and Male Speech

Stereotypes of female and male speech behaviour are elicited to give strong evidence that the speech of females and thespeech of males, as perceived by women and by men, do not have the same subject matter, or the same manner of delivery.

Identification of the speaker's sex from voiceless fricatives.

  • F. Ingemann
  • Physics
    The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
  • 1968
A speaker's sex was more easily identified when he produced [h,χ,x] than when heproduced [θ,f,ɸ].