Voice Characteristics of Transgender Speakers Open Access
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Abstract of Thesis Transgender voice therapy is often designed by considering cisgender male and female gender differences and some limited research about effects of voice measures on gender perception. Vocal fold vibration patterns are known to differ between genders but are not traditionally included as targets in voice feminization. This study aims to describe and explain these vocal fold vibration patterns to determine if the transgender larynx modifies its patterns to be more like those of the desired gender. Data was collected from ten cisgender males, ten cisgender females, and ten male-to-female transgender speakers. Derived subglottal pressure, airflow amplitude (AC flow, peak flow, and DC flow), airflow duration (open quotient, closed quotient, open speed quotient, aQuotient, and bQuotient), and glottal closure duration (closed speed quotient, cQuotient, and dQuotient) values were calculated from this data. It was hypothesized that airflow amplitude values would differ significantly from either gender and that duration values would approximate the values of the desired gender. Statistically significant differences were found in the values of peak flow (between males and females), AC flow (between males and females), open and closed quotients (between males and females and males and male-to-female transgender speakers), and aQuotient (between males and male-to-female transgender speakers). The data suggest that male-to-female transgender speakers' vocal folds are open for a longer percentage of the total duration of the cycle than either male or female cisgender speakers' vocal folds; this appears to be achieved by increasing the length of time during which the vocal folds are opening. It can be concluded from the data that this increase is achieved with a unique vocal fold closure pattern that is different from, and not in between or approximated to, either male or female cisgender vocal fold closure patterns.