Masculine Voices Predict Well-Being in Female-to-Male Transgender Individuals
Voices convey important social information about an individual’s identity, including gender. This is especially relevant to transgender individuals, who cite voice alteration as a primary goal of the gender alignment process. Although the voice is a primary target of testosterone therapy among female-to-male (FTM) trans people, little research has explored the effects of such changes on their psychological well-being. Here, we investigated how FTMs’ vocal gender related to their well-being. A total of 77 FTMs (M age = 25.45 years, SD = 6.77) provided voice samples and completed measures of their well-being and psychological health. An independent group of 32 naïve raters (M age = 22.16 years, SD = 8.21) subsequently rated the voice samples for masculinity. We found that FTMs whose voices sounded more congruent with their experienced gender (i.e., sounded more masculine) reported greater well-being (better life satisfaction, quality of life, and self-esteem; lower levels of anxiety and depression) than FTMs with less gender congruent (i.e., more feminine) voices (β = .48). The convergence between outwardly perceived vocal gender and gender identity brought about through hormone replacement therapy may therefore support greater well-being for FTMs.
KeywordsSocial perception Masculinity Transgender Voice Well-being Gender identity
This research was supported in part by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to NOR.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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