Voice and identity: how the sound of your voice shapes your image

Our voices offer powerful cues to listeners about who we are, including our gender. We experience this daily, especially when our voice stands alone. Each "ma'am/sir" we hear on the phone tells us the listener has used our voice to determine our gender. Yet the voice is a mix of many different features. Which are most influential to a listener's perception of gender? My research has looked at this question, with the goal of informing effective strategies for voice therapy. In this workshop, I will share findings on the importance of different voice features in influencing gender perceptions.

Intended audience(s)

Individuals seeking to modify their voice to match their affirmed gender identity

About the presenters

Kimberly Dahl

Kimberly Dahl, MA is clinical fellow in speech-language pathology and a recent graduate of the University of Rhode Island's program in communication disorders. Her background is in sociolinguistics, or the study of language in society. Her past research investigated how speakers use communication styles to reflect their identities. Her current research considers how voice features such as pitch, loudness, and intonation influence listeners' judgments of the speaker's gender. She works with transgender and gender non-conforming clients at the University of Rhode Island's Voice Clinic.