Pretreatment Acoustic Predictors of Gender, Femininity, and Naturalness Ratings in Individuals With Male-to-Female Gender Identity Purpose The purpose of this study was to describe the pretreatment acoustic characteristics of individuals with male-to-female gender identity (IMtFGI) and investigate the ability of the acoustic measures to predict ratings of gender, femininity, and vocal naturalness. Method This retrospective descriptive study included 2 groups of participants. Speakers ... Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   May 01, 2016
Pretreatment Acoustic Predictors of Gender, Femininity, and Naturalness Ratings in Individuals With Male-to-Female Gender Identity
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Teresa L. D. Hardy
    University of Alberta, Canada
  • Carol A. Boliek
    University of Alberta, Canada
  • Kristopher Wells
    University of Alberta, Canada
  • Carol Dearden
    Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Connie Zalmanowitz
    Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Jana M. Rieger
    University of Alberta, Canada
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Teresa Hardy: teresa.hardy@ualberta.ca
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Katherine Verdolini Abbott
    Associate Editor: Katherine Verdolini Abbott×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Clinical Forum: Record Reviews
Clinical Forum   |   May 01, 2016
Pretreatment Acoustic Predictors of Gender, Femininity, and Naturalness Ratings in Individuals With Male-to-Female Gender Identity
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2016, Vol. 25, 125-137. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0098
History: Received July 10, 2014 , Revised December 11, 2014 , Accepted September 3, 2015
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2016, Vol. 25, 125-137. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0098
History: Received July 10, 2014; Revised December 11, 2014; Accepted September 3, 2015

Purpose The purpose of this study was to describe the pretreatment acoustic characteristics of individuals with male-to-female gender identity (IMtFGI) and investigate the ability of the acoustic measures to predict ratings of gender, femininity, and vocal naturalness.

Method This retrospective descriptive study included 2 groups of participants. Speakers were IMtFGI who had not previously received communication feminization treatment (N = 25). Listeners were members of the lay community (N = 30). Acoustic data were retrospectively obtained from pretreatment recordings, and pretreatment recordings also served as stimuli for 3 perceptual rating tasks (completed by listeners).

Results Acoustic data generally were within normal limits for male speakers. All but 2 speakers were perceived to be male, limiting information about the relationship between acoustic measures and gender perception. Fundamental frequency (reading) significantly predicted femininity ratings (p = .000). A total of 3 stepwise regression models indicated that minimum frequency (range task), second vowel formant (sustained vowel), and shimmer percentage (sustained vowel) together significantly predicted naturalness ratings (p = .005, p = .003, and p = .002, respectively).

Conclusions Study aims were achieved with the exception of acoustic predictors of gender perception, which could be described for only 2 speakers. Future research should investigate measures of prosody, voice quality, and other aspects of communication as predictors of gender, femininity, and naturalness.

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