The federal government is spending $152,000 to study “voice therapy” for transgenders, saying it is incumbent to being “accepted as one’s preferred gender.”
“This study will illuminate the capabilities of the human larynx and inform the relationship between voice production and perception,” states a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant, awarded to George Washington University. “The long term goal of this research is to inform and provide new directions for Transgender (TG) voice care, thereby improving the lives of TG people who feel their voice is a great obstacle to living as their preferred gender.”
“Incomplete gender presentation can negatively impact the TG individual’s job opportunities, relationships, and social acceptance,” the study explains. “Results of this project will advance an aspect of gender transition vital to being accepted as one’s preferred gender and living a successful, healthy life.”
George Washington University received $152,500 in 2012 from the NIH’s National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Adrienne B. Hancock, an assistant professor at GWU, is leading the project.
According to the University, her primary research addresses “transgender voice and communication.” “She has examined transgender voice physiology as well as the psychosocial influence of voice and communication skills for transgender speakers,” her bio states.
The project will compare male-to-female transgender voices with men and women voices, judged by 100 listeners to “judge the gender” of the speech samples. Those male-to-female transgenders who pass as a female voice will be placed in a separate group and then compared to those who still sound like men.