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
Everything We Know About Brad Pitt’s Plane Incident
It’s Time to Get Over Your White Feelings and Start Taking Action for Black Lives
25 Famous Women on Being Alone
Jaden Smith on the Many Subtle Flavors of Water
Kim Kardashian Might Vote for Donald Trump
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
If You See Brad Pitt As a Fallen Hero, It’s Because the Rules Have Changed
Kylie Jenner’s Getting Sucked Into Tyga’s Debt Problems
Taylor Swift’s Squad Begged Kim Kardashian for Mercy
Bask in the Glory of This Dramatic Email Sent to a UCLA Freshman by Her Future Roommate
From Our Partners
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Love and War FeaturesAva 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.Santigold’s New Video Is the Result of a Spontaneous Run-in With Kara Walker
The collaboration that dreams are made of.Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield Spotted Together Again, Love Might Be Real
They could be back together ahh!Teen, Forced to Go on Vacation With Her Family, Calls 911
The logical decision.Report: Hearst Fired Seventeen EIC Michelle Tan During Her Maternity Leave
Tan had been at the magazine for about two years.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.
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.Miles Teller Is Still Upset About Being Called a Dick
He wants to set the record straight.Why Parents Shouldn’t Talk About Weight With Their Teens
New guidelines seek to banish weight talk.UVA Student Assaulted at Knifepoint During Orientation Weekend
But some students weren't notified until 24 hours later.