Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 963–972 | Cite as

Masculine Voices Predict Well-Being in Female-to-Male Transgender Individuals

  • Seth O. Watt
  • Konstantin O. Tskhay
  • Nicholas O. Rule
Original Paper


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.


Social 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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seth O. Watt
    • 1
  • Konstantin O. Tskhay
    • 1
  • Nicholas O. Rule
    • 1
  1. 1.Social Perception and Cognition Laboratory, Department of PsychologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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