Voice and speech changes in transmasculine individuals following circumlaryngeal massage and laryngeal reposturing
Voice is an important means of expressing gender for many transmasculine people. Gender-affirming hormone treatment with testosterone (T) can lead to voice changes, but not for everyone. And not all transmasculine people take T. So we need non-hormonal options for voice care for those who want a more masculine-sounding voice. Could laryngeal manipulation approaches be such an option? For some folks, yes! After a single session, most transmasculine speakers saw changes in their pitch, the position of their larynx, and how masculine their voice sounded to others.
Here's a short read from Inside Sargent—an interview with BU speech-language pathology alum Felicia François, who completed part of this project for a master's thesis.
Dahl, K. L., François, F. A., Buckley, D. P., & Stepp, C. E. (2022). Voice and speech changes in transmasculine individuals following circumlaryngeal massage and laryngeal reposturing. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 31(3), 1368-1382. https://doi.org/10.1044/2022_AJSLP-21-00245
Acoustic features of transfeminine voices and perceptions of voice femininity
Many features of voice and speech contribute to the perception of gender and femininity. Are certain features particularly important in determining how the voices of transgender women are perceived? Seems so! Trans women with higher pitched and louder voices were perceived as more feminine by both unfamiliar listeners and by trans women themselves. Trans women rated their voices as less feminine than did listeners, revealing the importance of self-perceptions in this population.
Dahl, K. L., & Mahler, L. A. (2020). Acoustic features of transfeminine voices and perceptions of voice femininity. Journal of Voice, 34(6), 961.e19-961.e26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2019.05.012
Coauthored publications in voice & gender
Groll, M.D., Dahl, K.L., Díaz Cádiz, M., Welch, B., Tracy, L.F., & Stepp, C.E. (2022). Resynthesis of transmasculine voices to assess gender perception as a function of testosterone therapy. Journal of Speech-Language, and Hearing Research, 65(7), 2474-2489. doi.org/10.1044/2022_JSLHR-21-00482
Brown, K.M., Dahl, K.L., Cler, G.J., & Stepp, C.E. (2021) Listener age and gender diversity: Effects on voice-based perception of gender. Journal of Voice, 35(5), 739-745. doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2020.02.004
Buckley, D.P., Dahl, K.L., Cler, G.J., & Stepp, C.E. (2020). Transmasculine voice modification: A case study. Journal of Voice, 34(6), 903-910. doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2019.05.003
Cler, G.J., McKenna, V.S., Dahl, K.L., & Stepp, C.E. (2020). Longitudinal case study of transgender voice changes under testosterone hormone therapy. Journal of Voice, 34(5), 748-762. doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2019.03.006