News reports this week revealed two dead vocal giveaways you're a woman. Not that you need to, but here's how science says you can un-sex your speaking voice:
Step 1: Fix your S sound.
In a University of Colorado Boulder study picked up by The Atlantic, the likelihood a transgender man would “pass” vocally depended less on the pitch of his overall voice than on the pitch of his S sound. “For example, two speakers, ‘Joe’ and ‘Kam,’ spoke at the same frequency, but with different 's' pitches. All of the listeners identified the former as male and the latter as female.”
Step 2: Ditch your vocal "fry" or "creaky voice."
The trend of ending one's sentences with a deep, creaky elongation of your voweeeeeuuuuls is widespread but limited almost exclusively to women (and young women in particular), Slate's Lexicon Valley podcast reports. By now you probably already know to do this, as the trend has been covered to death. Never mind that vocal fry may serve the paralinguistic function of conveying irony, Slate's Bob Garfield finds it "really annoying" and "repulsive," and he wishes he could "wave a magic wand" over all the young women of America to make it stop.
Slate reports that because a vocal fry is perceived as sophisticated and authoritative by other women — and because it pitches a woman's voice about as low as a man's — it may simply reflect women's unconscious attempt to sound more like the men who have so graciously welcomed them into the workplace. Either way, teenage girls are at the avant-garde of communication, so if vocal fry is anything like uptalk (raising your voice at the end of a declarative sentence so it sounds like a question?), men will be doing it soon, too.
Most Viewed Stories
This Conspiracy Theory Will Change How You Feel About the Bachelor Villain
The Ultimate Guide to Preparing for the Women’s March
Here’s the Official List of Speakers for the Women’s March on Washington
15 Protest Sign Ideas for the Women’s March on Washington
Sexual Assault in the Amazon
The Sheer Perfection of Donald Trump’s Golden Shower
Things to Keep You Warm and Dry at a Protest
Your Guide to Peeing During the Women’s March on Washington
TMZ Reports Trump Will Actually Have Really Cool Inauguration Performers
Your Guide to NYC Inauguration Weekend Protests
From Our Partners
Who What Wear
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Love and War FeaturesA Holiday Season Weekend Through London
A good guide for avid The Crown fans.It’s About Time You Learned Tove Lo’s Name
The singer has crafted pop hits you’ve heard a thousand times by now.Marina Abramovic Has Outlasted Her Lovers and, She Hopes, Her Critics
The world's most famous performance artist at 70.The Wing: Do Women Still Need a Space of Their Own?
This exclusive social club for women, is part sorority, part start-up.In Virtual Reality, Women Run the World
A new generation of female artists is making VR the most diverse corner of the male-dominated tech space.The Novelist Disguised As a Housewife
Shirley Jackson wrote 17 books while raising four children — and she couldn't have had a successful career without them.Ava DuVernay on Hollywood Racism, Modern-Day Slavery, and Why She’s Still an Optimist
The director, whose new documentary The 13th chronicles America’s history of racial subjugation, talks to Rebecca Traister about Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and the modern criminal-justice system.What No One Tells Couples Trying to Conceive
It helps to be rich.The Hidden Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race
A segregated unit of mathematicians born of desperation during World War II became the secret to NASA’s success.Slut-Shaming Squids Are Everywhere
The “Bermuda Square” comic strip is back.
The collaboration that dreams are made of.Good Morning America Host Amy Robach Apologizes for Saying ‘Colored People’ on Air
She quickly apologized.Unknown NFL Player Tries to Get Attention by Asking Aly Raisman Out in Video
That’s one way to do it.Don’t Mess This Up, Mischa Barton
Marissa Cooper is poised for a comeback ... maybe.California Votes to Remove Time Limit on Prosecuting Rape Cases
In light of the Bill Cosby case.Beyoncé’s Behind-the-Scenes Lemonade Photos Belong in a Museum
She had the "Boycott Beyoncé" sign already in formation on set.The Rise of the Male Celebrity Full-Frontal
An ex-publicist explains.Gabby Douglas Will Be a Miss America Judge
The gold-medal gymnast will help choose the 2017 pageant winner.Camille Becerra’s Photo Diary of Rockaway Beach
An ideal trip to add and cross off your summer bucket list.Sorry Nerds, Ian McKellen Won’t Officiate Your Expensive Lord of the Rings–Themed Wedding
Not even for $1.5 million.