Voice, Articulation, and Prosody Contribute to Listener Perceptions of Speaker Gender: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Purpose The aim of this study was to provide a systematic review of the aspects of verbal communication contributing to listener perceptions of speaker gender with a view to providing clinicians with guidance for the selection of the training goals when working with transsexual individuals. Method Preferred reporting ... Review Article
Review Article  |   February 15, 2018
Voice, Articulation, and Prosody Contribute to Listener Perceptions of Speaker Gender: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Yeptain Leung
    Discipline of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Department of Community & Clinical Allied Health, School of Allied Health, College of Science, Health & Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Jennifer Oates
    Discipline of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Department of Community & Clinical Allied Health, School of Allied Health, College of Science, Health & Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Siew Pang Chan
    Department of Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore
    Cardiovascular Research Institute, National University Heart Centre, Singapore, National University Health System
    Department of Mathematics and Statistics, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 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. ×
  • Correspondence to Yeptain Leung: 18347106@students.latrobe.edu.au
  • Editor-in-Chief: Julie Liss
    Editor-in-Chief: Julie Liss×
  • Editor: Tanya Eadie
    Editor: Tanya Eadie×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Review Articles
Review Article   |   February 15, 2018
Voice, Articulation, and Prosody Contribute to Listener Perceptions of Speaker Gender: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2018, Vol. 61, 266-297. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-17-0067
History: Received February 20, 2017 , Revised July 7, 2017 , Accepted September 1, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2018, Vol. 61, 266-297. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-17-0067
History: Received February 20, 2017; Revised July 7, 2017; Accepted September 1, 2017

Purpose The aim of this study was to provide a systematic review of the aspects of verbal communication contributing to listener perceptions of speaker gender with a view to providing clinicians with guidance for the selection of the training goals when working with transsexual individuals.

Method Preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocols (PRISMA-P) guidelines were adopted in this systematic review. Studies evaluating the contribution of aspects of verbal communication to listener perceptions of speaker gender were rated against a new risk of bias assessment tool. Relevant data were extracted, and narrative synthesis was then conducted. Meta-analyses were conducted when appropriate data were available.

Results Thirty-eight articles met the eligibility criteria. Meta-analysis showed speaking fundamental frequency contributing to 41.6% of the variance in gender perception. Auditory-perceptual and acoustic measures of pitch, resonance, loudness, articulation, and intonation were found to be associated with listeners' perceptions of speaker gender. Tempo and stress were not significantly associated. Mixed findings were found as to the contribution of a breathy voice quality to gender perception. Nonetheless, there exists significant risk of bias in this body of research.

Conclusions Speech and language clinicians working with transsexual individuals may use the results of this review for goal setting. Further research is required to redress the significant risk of bias.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship held by the first author. The authors express their heartfelt appreciation for Kathy Yuet Sheung Lee and Viktoria Papp for their comments on this manuscript.
The research underpinning this publication was undertaken while completing a PhD at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria.
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