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

  title={Male voices and perceived sexual orientation: An experimental and theoretical approach},
  author={Ron Smyth and Greg Jacobs and Henry Rogers},
  journal={Language in Society},
  pages={329 - 350}
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 researchers to examine the effects of different discourse types (scientific, dramatic, and spontaneous) and listener groups (gay males vs. a mix of males and females of unknown sexual orientation) on how listeners perceived the voices. The effects of lexical and pragmatic content were explored by a… 


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

Materializing gay identity

This paper aims at investigating (1) whether young Thai adults can distinguish between straight male and gay-sounding speech and (2) how listeners feel about speech sounds performed by Thai

Gay- and Lesbian-Sounding Auditory Cues Elicit Stereotyping and Discrimination

It is demonstrated that having a gay/lesbian rather than heterosexual-sounding voice has tangible consequences for stereotyping and discrimination.

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

Female-to-Male Transsexuals and Gay-Sounding Voices: A Pilot Study

A great deal of work has now been published on the perception of men’s sexual orientation on the basis of phonetic characteristics. In this paper, I present a pilot study focusing on a population

Gay Voice: Stable Marker of Sexual Orientation or Flexible Communication Device?

Experimental and archival research suggests that gay speakers modulate their voices flexibly depending on their relation with the interlocutor and as a consequence of their public coming out.

Perceived Sexual Orientation and Attitudes towards Sounding Gay or Straight

Gaudio (1994) and Pierrehumbert et al. (2004) gave evidence that hearers can identify the sexual orientation of speakers without the aid of visual cues. Pierrehumbert et al. associated this result

The Impact of Stimuli Length and Analytic Method on Auditory 'Gaydar' Research.

Hegemonic masculinity and the variability of gay-sounding speech: The perceived sexuality of transgender men

Sociophonetic inquiry into sexuality and the voice has often focused on the perception of men’s sexuality on the basis of disembodied voices. However, inconsistencies across these studies limit our

Perception and Identity: Stereotypesof Speech and Sexual Orientation in Puerto Rican Spanish

This paper offers an initial examination of stereotypes of speech and gay male sexual orientation in Puerto Rican Spanish. The data presented were gathered as part of a larger project examining the



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

  • S. Linville
  • Psychology
    Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica
  • 1998
Findings suggest that members of the community of openly gay men demonstrate certain speech characteristics that are discernible to listeners, both as a function of perceived and actual sexual orientation.

Acoustic correlates of perceived sexual identity in preadolescent children's voices.

Although certain measures of fundamental frequency variability were significantly related to perceptual measures of sexual identity, these cues were also interpreted to play a secondary role in defining maleness and femaleness in these children's voices.

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.

Sounding Gender(ed): Vocal performances in English university teaching spaces

Voices may tell many stories about the bodies that produce them, but their role in the authoring and reading of gendered and sexualised identities has been neglected. Work within linguistics on


\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

Gay and Lesbian Language

▪ Abstract The past two decades have witnessed a minor explosion in publications dealing with the ways in which gay men and lesbians use language. In fact, though, work on the topic has been

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.

Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity

Preface (1999) Preface (1990) 1. Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire I. 'Women' as the Subject of Feminism II. The Compulsory Order of Sex/Gender/Desire III. Gender: The Circular Ruins of Contemporary

Toward a comprehensive theory of language and gender

The search for explanatory coherence in language and gender research has fostered a variety of research methods and analyses; this article evaluates the contributions of the Communities of Practice