Listener Perception as a Measure of Treatment Effectiveness in Voice Modification for a Transwoman

April Michelle Gutierrez, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess treatment effectiveness using listener perception as a measure of vocal femininity in a 22-year old transwoman. Participant: The participant for this study was a monolingual, English-speaking, 22-year old transwoman. Inclusion criteria included self-identification as a transwoman. Exclusion criteria included surgical procedures to the vocal folds. Methods: This cross-sectional survey study focused on using listener perception as a measure of treatment effectiveness in voice feminization. This study used surveys to investigate how naïve listeners would perceive the participants voice after she received voice modification treatment at the University of Texas at El Paso Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic. Results: The initial survey revealed that while half of the listeners did identify the transwoman’s voice as female, some listeners found her voice unpleasant; the listeners identified several factors that contributed to their negative perception. Adjustments were made to treatment and as a result, only two listeners in the subsequent described her voice as unpleasant. Conclusions: The results of this study show that though this transwoman did not achieve a fundamental frequency in the traditional feminine range, her voice was still gendered female by the majority of the naïve listeners. The results of this study suggest that fundamental frequency should not be the primary measure of success in voice modification therapy for transwomen.

Subject Area

Health sciences

Recommended Citation

Gutierrez, April Michelle, "Listener Perception as a Measure of Treatment Effectiveness in Voice Modification for a Transwoman" (2019). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI22618302.
https://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI22618302

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