Nasality in Homosexual Men: A Comparison with Heterosexual Men and Women

  • Belle Vanpoucke
  • Marjan Cosyns
  • Kim Bettens
  • John Van BorselEmail author
Original Paper


Several studies reported that pitch and articulation may vary according to a person’s sexual orientation. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether homosexual males also demonstrate differences in nasal resonance compared to heterosexual males. Speech samples of 30 self-identified homosexual males, 35 heterosexual males, and 34 heterosexual females were compared both instrumentally and perceptually. Nasalance scores were calculated for the sounds /a/, /i/, /u/, and /m/ and for an oronasal, oral, and nasal text. In addition, the Nasality Severity Index was determined. Spontaneous speech samples were used for a perceptual evaluation of nasal resonance. Neither the nasalance scores nor the Nasality Severity Index were significantly different between the homosexual and heterosexual males. Heterosexual females, on the other hand, showed significantly higher nasalance values for the oronasal and oral text and a significantly lower Nasality Severity Index than both the homosexual and the heterosexual males. The perceptual judgment revealed no significant differences between the three groups. The results of this study suggest that, in contrast to pitch and articulation, nasality does not tend to vary with sexual orientation.


Sexual orientation Nasality Homosexual Speech 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was approved by the Commission for Medical Ethics of the Ghent University Hospital (project number: EC/2015/1226). All participants signed an informed consent form.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Belle Vanpoucke
    • 1
  • Marjan Cosyns
    • 1
  • Kim Bettens
    • 1
  • John Van Borsel
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Logopaedic and Audiological SciencesGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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