Word/Voice Gender

How does the perceived gender of a speaker's voice interact with the gender associated with words? 

While English doesn't have much grammatical gender, speakers still associate some words and concepts with a gender (e.g., strong, truck, punch vs. dainty, flower, bake). Listeners also perceive speakers' genders through their voices. This study investigates how the perceived gender of a person's voice influences their word-gender associations and vice-versa -- and how the gender experience of listeners affects their rating patterns.

The preliminary results are fascinating! See the poster link below.

Presentations (*student author):

Students & Collaborators:

Student Corner

Data and materials:

  • Audio clips of people of different gender identities reading a word list. Individual words cut from: 
  • Gender ratings of the words from text and from the audio clips (rated by ~30 OSU students each).

Project ideas:

  • Next steps: add LGBTQ+ raters; ask listeners to rate speakers rather than words; create a gender experience questionnaire. 
  • Replicate with raters from other ages, regions, etc.
  • Replicate with other words. 
  • Extend by showing photos that do/don't match the word's associated gender (or the speaker's perceived gender) while raters listen.