Judgments of self-identified gay and heterosexual male speakers: Which phonemes are most salient in determining sexual orientation?

Erik C. Tracy, Sierra Bainter, Nicholas P. Satariano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While numerous studies have demonstrated that a male speaker's sexual orientation can be identified from relatively long passages of speech, few studies have evaluated whether listeners can determine sexual orientation when presented with word-length stimuli. If listeners are able to distinguish between self-identified gay and heterosexual male speakers of American English, it is unclear whether they form their judgments based on a phoneme, such as a vowel or consonant, or multiple phonemes, such as a vowel and a consonant. In this study, we first found that listeners can distinguish between self-identified gay and heterosexual speakers of American English upon hearing word-length stimuli. We extended these results in a separate experiment to demonstrate that listeners primarily rely on vowels, and to some extent consonants, when forming their judgments. Listeners were able to differentiate between the two groups of speakers for each of the vowels and three of the seven consonants presented. In a follow-up experiment we found evidence that listeners' judgments improved if they were presented with multiple phonemes, such as a vowel and /s/. These results provide important information about how different phonemes can provide discriminant information about a male speaker's sexual orientation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-25
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Phonetics
Volume52
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Heterosexuality
sexual orientation
listener
Sexual Behavior
Hearing
stimulus
experiment
Sexual Minorities
Sexual Orientation
Phoneme
Listeners
Salient
Consonant
evidence
Group

Keywords

  • Gay and heterosexual male speech
  • Indexical characteristics
  • Sexual orientation
  • Sociophonetics
  • Vowels and consonants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

Cite this

Judgments of self-identified gay and heterosexual male speakers : Which phonemes are most salient in determining sexual orientation? / Tracy, Erik C.; Bainter, Sierra; Satariano, Nicholas P.

In: Journal of Phonetics, Vol. 52, 01.09.2015, p. 13-25.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{80c5da723805472a9e55e31dbe4dc8bd,
title = "Judgments of self-identified gay and heterosexual male speakers: Which phonemes are most salient in determining sexual orientation?",
abstract = "While numerous studies have demonstrated that a male speaker's sexual orientation can be identified from relatively long passages of speech, few studies have evaluated whether listeners can determine sexual orientation when presented with word-length stimuli. If listeners are able to distinguish between self-identified gay and heterosexual male speakers of American English, it is unclear whether they form their judgments based on a phoneme, such as a vowel or consonant, or multiple phonemes, such as a vowel and a consonant. In this study, we first found that listeners can distinguish between self-identified gay and heterosexual speakers of American English upon hearing word-length stimuli. We extended these results in a separate experiment to demonstrate that listeners primarily rely on vowels, and to some extent consonants, when forming their judgments. Listeners were able to differentiate between the two groups of speakers for each of the vowels and three of the seven consonants presented. In a follow-up experiment we found evidence that listeners' judgments improved if they were presented with multiple phonemes, such as a vowel and /s/. These results provide important information about how different phonemes can provide discriminant information about a male speaker's sexual orientation.",
keywords = "Gay and heterosexual male speech, Indexical characteristics, Sexual orientation, Sociophonetics, Vowels and consonants",
author = "Tracy, {Erik C.} and Sierra Bainter and Satariano, {Nicholas P.}",
year = "2015",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.wocn.2015.04.001",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "52",
pages = "13--25",
journal = "Journal of Phonetics",
issn = "0095-4470",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Judgments of self-identified gay and heterosexual male speakers

T2 - Which phonemes are most salient in determining sexual orientation?

AU - Tracy, Erik C.

AU - Bainter, Sierra

AU - Satariano, Nicholas P.

PY - 2015/9/1

Y1 - 2015/9/1

N2 - While numerous studies have demonstrated that a male speaker's sexual orientation can be identified from relatively long passages of speech, few studies have evaluated whether listeners can determine sexual orientation when presented with word-length stimuli. If listeners are able to distinguish between self-identified gay and heterosexual male speakers of American English, it is unclear whether they form their judgments based on a phoneme, such as a vowel or consonant, or multiple phonemes, such as a vowel and a consonant. In this study, we first found that listeners can distinguish between self-identified gay and heterosexual speakers of American English upon hearing word-length stimuli. We extended these results in a separate experiment to demonstrate that listeners primarily rely on vowels, and to some extent consonants, when forming their judgments. Listeners were able to differentiate between the two groups of speakers for each of the vowels and three of the seven consonants presented. In a follow-up experiment we found evidence that listeners' judgments improved if they were presented with multiple phonemes, such as a vowel and /s/. These results provide important information about how different phonemes can provide discriminant information about a male speaker's sexual orientation.

AB - While numerous studies have demonstrated that a male speaker's sexual orientation can be identified from relatively long passages of speech, few studies have evaluated whether listeners can determine sexual orientation when presented with word-length stimuli. If listeners are able to distinguish between self-identified gay and heterosexual male speakers of American English, it is unclear whether they form their judgments based on a phoneme, such as a vowel or consonant, or multiple phonemes, such as a vowel and a consonant. In this study, we first found that listeners can distinguish between self-identified gay and heterosexual speakers of American English upon hearing word-length stimuli. We extended these results in a separate experiment to demonstrate that listeners primarily rely on vowels, and to some extent consonants, when forming their judgments. Listeners were able to differentiate between the two groups of speakers for each of the vowels and three of the seven consonants presented. In a follow-up experiment we found evidence that listeners' judgments improved if they were presented with multiple phonemes, such as a vowel and /s/. These results provide important information about how different phonemes can provide discriminant information about a male speaker's sexual orientation.

KW - Gay and heterosexual male speech

KW - Indexical characteristics

KW - Sexual orientation

KW - Sociophonetics

KW - Vowels and consonants

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84928676694&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84928676694&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.wocn.2015.04.001

DO - 10.1016/j.wocn.2015.04.001

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84928676694

VL - 52

SP - 13

EP - 25

JO - Journal of Phonetics

JF - Journal of Phonetics

SN - 0095-4470

ER -