Voice and Physical Appearance in Female-to-Male Transsexuals


      The study aims to investigate if a similar interaction between physical appearance and voice could be found in female-to-male transsexuals as had been observed in male-to-female transsexuals. A panel of judges rated “maleness” of seven female-to-male transsexuals from video-recorded speech samples using three modes of presentation: auditory-only presentation, visual-only presentation, and audiovisual presentation. For the group of transsexuals as a whole, no significant differences were found between scores given in the auditory-only mode or the visual-only mode and those given in the audiovisual mode. Analysis of individual results, however, yielded significant differences in some individuals and there was some relation with hormone treatment. There was no significant correlation between the ratings of “maleness” in the auditory-only mode and fundamental frequency. Physical appearance in female-to-male transsexuals appears not to be a strong influencing factor in general, but may interact with gender recognition based on the voice in some individuals. The absence of a correlation between fundamental frequency and rating of maleness could mean that in female-to-male transsexuals, fundamental frequency is a relatively less important factor for gender expression or perhaps also that a higher voice in males is more accepted than a lower voice in females.

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