1pSC19. Differentiating between gay and heterosexual male speech.

Session: Monday Afternoon, May 23

Author: Erik C. Tracy
Location: Dept. of Psych., Ohio State Univ., 1827 Neil Ave.,Columbus, OH 43210, tracy.69@osu.edu
Author: Nicholas P. Satariano
Location: Dept. of Psych., Ohio State Univ., 1827 Neil Ave.,Columbus, OH 43210, tracy.69@osu.edu

Abstract:

How many phones do listeners need to hear in order to discriminate betweengay and heterosexual male speakers? Prior research [Munson <etal/> (2006)has found that listeners only need to hear a single monosyllabic word to makethis determination. In a series of experiments, listeners heard monosyllabicwords and portions of these words, and were able to discriminate between gayand heterosexual male speakers. Experiment 1 replicated the prior results.In experiment 2, listeners were above chance in differentiating between heterosexualand gay male speakers when presented with specific phonemes, such as s andcertain vowels (e, u, i, ϵ, aelig).These data extend prior work demonstrating that gay and heterosexual men producecertain phones differently [Linville (1998); Pierrehumbert <etal/> (2004)].When presented with other phonemes (n, m, f, v, l, w), listenerswere not as accurate in differentiating between gay and heterosexual malespeakers. These results suggest that listeners were able to accurately discriminatebetween gay and heterosexual speakers when presented with specific phonemes,although they were relatively more accurate in their determinations when presentedwith the entire monosyllabic word.