Phonetograms, Aerodynamic Measurements, Self-Evaluations, and Auditory Perceptual Ratings of Male-to-Female Transsexual Voice Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVES: This exploratory study reports instrumental and subjective data for 25 male-to-female transsexual (M-F TS) individuals using their attempted female voice. The aim was to examine the usefulness of phonetograms and aerodynamic measures for voice assessment of this client group. STUDY DESIGN: Descriptive and correlational. METHODS: Phonetogram speech-range profiles (SRPs) were recorded for the M-F TS participants' attempted female voice. Transglottal air pressure and airflow were estimated from oral recordings. All recordings were made in typical- and loud-voice conditions. Relationships among acoustical and aerodynamic measurements, background data, self-evaluations, and auditory perceptual ratings were examined. M-F TS data were compared with male and female normative data. RESULTS: Agreement between naive and voice-expert listeners as well as intra- and interlistener reliability was good. Fundamental frequency (F(0)) accounted for 41-49% of variation in gender ratings for the group, but individual exceptions were found. Background data did not account for female voice success. Perceptual ratings of strain and breathiness were low. No data indicated hyperfunctional vocal behavior. The aerodynamic data agreed with normative male high-pitch data. The speech sound pressure level (SPL) was higher than the female norms. Phonetogram speech-range data fell between male and female data. CONCLUSIONS: The importance of speaking fundamental frequency (SFF) in perception of gender was confirmed. Instrumental and subjective data suggested that the use of low speech intensities and avoidance of vocal fry could help contribute to a successful female voice. Phonetograms were suggested to be useful for visual feedback and documentation of changes in voice therapy for M-F TS clients.

publication date

  • September 2010

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