This is something American film-maker David Thorpe knows. His quest to understand why he talks the way he does is the subject of a new documentary, Do I Sound Gay? In it, he wonders out loud how and why he developed a timbre, a tone, that many people point to as evidence of his sexuality.
Gay male speechparticularly within North American Englishhas been the focus of numerous modern stereotypes, as well as sociolinguistic studies. Scientific research has uncovered phonetically significant features produced by many gay men and demonstrated that listeners accurately guess speakers' sexual orientation at rates greater than chance. Research does not support the notion that gay speech entirely adopts feminine speech characteristics, but, rather, that it selectively adopts some of those features.
In all four studies, listeners were found to make gender-typical inferences about traits and preferences of heterosexual speakers, but gender-atypical inferences about those of gay or lesbian speakers. Behavioral intention measures showed that listeners considered lesbian and gay speakers as less suitable for a leadership position, and male but not female listeners took distance from gay speakers. Sexual orientation is a social category that, differently from many others that are signaled by clear visual features such as skin color, is not ascertained until the person self-discloses.
Sign in. Elisha Cuthbert reveals a show she can't miss, the greatest hockey movie ever, and the film she's seen the more than any other. Watch now. Why is it we never actually see a ghost in the dozens of documentaries out there, yet people claim they see them daily.
I am a gay man, and that means I do not like the sound of my own voice. Also, all children sound gay. I grew up a cerebral, effeminate child in a farm town in Northern California.
Reader comments are listed below. Comments are currently closed and new comments are no longer being accepted. As an American gay male most often taken for a British blue blood I too have wondered about the "sibilant s" which can be found as a pronounced marker in some gay speech.
It was heaven: pints, pies, mushy peas, Crazy in Love on repeat. At one point I was introduced to one of the uncles, and he asked me what my name was. Louis, I said.
What kinds of things tell you someone is gay? There are many potential answers to this question — the way they dress, the way they move their hands. Chances are, you have made a quick assumption based on their voice.
Of all the injustices of childhood, being mocked for your voice has a particular sting. But when you let your guard down—and who can keep it up forever? I was born in England to American parents, and lived there long enough to have an English accent for much of my adolescence.
A new study that shows people discriminate against men and women with "gay voice" will surprise few people who've ever been told they sound gay. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Surrey and published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviorpresented 40 straight men with images and vocal recordings of candidates for a made-up CEO position and asked them to assess their suitability for the role. Unsurprisingly, women with husky, masculine voices were considered lesser candidates — they "lacked femininity" — as were blokes with a "gay-sounding voice".