Gender presentation: perceptual and acoustical analyses of voice

J Voice. 1997 Sep;11(3):307-13. doi: 10.1016/s0892-1997(97)80009-4.


This study investigated the perceptual and acoustical characteristics of vocal presentation in both the masculine and the feminine modes by the same group of male subjects. Listeners (N = 88) evaluated 22 voice samples by using 18 semantic differential scales and 57 adjectives. The 22 voice samples were provided by 11 biologically male speakers, who described themselves as heterosexual crossdressers. Each speaker read a standard passage under controlled conditions. In one reading, they demonstrated their typical masculine voice and in the other they spoke in their feminine voice. Acoustical analyses included mean fundamental frequency, frequency range, overall passage duration, and duration of a sample of stressed vowels. Results indicated that listeners heard significant differences between masculine and feminine presentations across the 11 speakers and the 18 semantic differential scales. Masculine-feminine and high-low pitch were the most salient scales in the perceptual judgments. Acoustical analyses indicated wide variation according to speaker and condition. Clinical applications are provided.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Speech Acoustics*
  • Voice Quality*
  • Voice*