The purpose of this study was to investigate whether there are indications of gender-related voice problems in our transmasculine participants and to analyze how discrepancies between participant self-evaluations and researcher-led examinations can be best negotiated to ensure a participant-centered interpretation.
We conducted a participant-centered mixed-methods study combining qualitative content analyses of semistructured interviews, acoustical voice analyses, and an examination of gender attributions to voice. Fourteen German-speaking transmasculine people, 14 cisfemale control persons, and 7 cismale control persons participated. The data were examined for indications of gender-related voice problems pertaining to vocal gender presentation and gender attribution to voice received from others.
Eleven participants (79%) presented with indications of gender-related voice problems. Problems included dissatisfaction with gender-related voice features, difficulties with control of vocal gender presentation, and mismatch between desired gender attribution and gender attributions received from others. Discrepancies between participant self-evaluations and researcher-led examinations were observed in a number of cases.
Transmasculine speakers may experience a range of gender-related voice problems. Research and clinical practice with transmasculine people need to be adapted to better match the diversity of the population and the complexity of the processes that shape the production of speaker vocal gender in interaction.