Voice Quality and Gender Stereotypes: A Study of Lebanese Women With Reinke's Edema Purpose Women with Reinke's edema (RW) report being mistaken for men during telephone conversations. For this reason, their masculine-sounding voices are interesting for the study of gender stereotypes. The study's objective is to verify their complaint and to understand the cues used in gender identification. Method Using a ... Supplement Article
Supplement Article  |   December 01, 2016
Voice Quality and Gender Stereotypes: A Study of Lebanese Women With Reinke's Edema
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nayla Matar
    Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Hôtel-Dieu de France Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Saint-Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon
    Aix-Marseille Université, Aix-en-Provence, France
  • Cristel Portes
    Aix-Marseille Université, Aix-en-Provence, France
  • Leonardo Lancia
    University of Cyprus, Nicosia
  • Thierry Legou
    Aix-Marseille Université, Aix-en-Provence, France
  • Fabienne Baider
    University of Cyprus, Nicosia
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Leonardo Lancia is now at Laboratoire de Phonétique et Phonologie, UMR 7018, CNRS/Université Sorbonne Nouvelle–Paris 3, France.
    Leonardo Lancia is now at Laboratoire de Phonétique et Phonologie, UMR 7018, CNRS/Université Sorbonne Nouvelle–Paris 3, France.×
  • Editor: Jody Kreiman
    Editor: Jody Kreiman×
  • Associate Editor: Susanne Fuchs
    Associate Editor: Susanne Fuchs×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Supplement: Select Papers From the 10th International Seminar on Speech Production
Supplement Article   |   December 01, 2016
Voice Quality and Gender Stereotypes: A Study of Lebanese Women With Reinke's Edema
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2016, Vol. 59, S1608-S1617. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-15-0047
History: Received February 2, 2015 , Revised September 9, 2015 , Accepted February 11, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2016, Vol. 59, S1608-S1617. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-15-0047
History: Received February 2, 2015; Revised September 9, 2015; Accepted February 11, 2016

Purpose Women with Reinke's edema (RW) report being mistaken for men during telephone conversations. For this reason, their masculine-sounding voices are interesting for the study of gender stereotypes. The study's objective is to verify their complaint and to understand the cues used in gender identification.

Method Using a self-evaluation study, we verified RW's perception of their own voices. We compared the acoustic parameters of vowels produced by 10 RW to those produced by 10 men and 10 women with healthy voices (hereafter referred to as NW) in Lebanese Arabic. We conducted a perception study for the evaluation of RW, healthy men's, and NW voices by naïve listeners.

Results RW self-evaluated their voices as masculine and their gender identities as feminine. The acoustic parameters that distinguish RW from NW voices concern fundamental frequency, spectral slope, harmonicity of the voicing signal, and complexity of the spectral envelope. Naïve listeners very often rate RW as surely masculine.

Conclusions Listeners may rate RW's gender incorrectly. These incorrect gender ratings are correlated with acoustic measures of fundamental frequency and voice quality. Further investigations will reveal the contribution of each of these parameters to gender perception and guide the treatment plan of patients complaining of a gender ambiguous voice.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by the Conseil de la recherche de l'Université Saint-Joseph, Lebanon and by the CNRS, France (Projet PEPS, Défi Genre). Leonardo Lancia's work, carried out within the Labex BLRI (Brain and Language Research Institute, ANR-11-LABX-0036) and ASLAN (Advanced Studies on Language complexity, ANR-10-LABX-0081), has benefited from support from the French government, managed by the French National Agency for Research (ANR), under the program Investissements d'Avenir (ANR-11-IDEX-0001-02 and AQ13 ANR-11-IDEX-0007).
The authors thank all speakers and patients, as well as Josephine Sacre, Leslie Akl, Valery Joe Haddad, and Stephanie Matar for their contribution to this work. The authors also thank Chantal Choueiry Akiki, Ingrid Verduyckt, and Zoukaa Sargi, for their valuable comments when reading the article.
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