The Reflection Of The Voice In The Gay Voice

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Individuals in today’s society are quick to judge a male by the tone of his voice. In the United States, the social norm is that males tend to have a deeper and more monotone voice when compared to females. It is viewed as socially incorrect if a male has a higher pitch to his voice. A man can easily be perceived as gay if his voice strays away from the norm of the male society. Homosexual males are stereotyped to be effeminate in their speech because of the similar high pitch they share with females; however, research has found that homosexual males along with heterosexual males can both show this similar quality of voice. This essay’s aim is not to discuss the sexual relations of homosexuals, but rather to proclaim that there is underlying…show more content…
No study to date has examined the possible origins of these speech differences. In today’s society, most people believe that they can judge a male’s sexual orientation based only off of his speech. In addition, most studies done on sexual orientation based off of speech samples have in fact been found to be accurate. It is tiny differences in pronunciation that distinguish speech patterns. One possibility of why this speech occurs is its ability to act as a ticket of membership into the gay community. It is assumed that the “gay voice” is used to unify homosexual males from diverse backgrounds, or to identify one another in diverse social settings. However, gay speech doesn’t have to exist for functional purposes, as there could also be underlying causes (Renn). Gay men with a so called “gay voice” have picked up these speech patterns more commonly associated with women, by being around more women speakers than male speakers while growing up (Fallon). The “gay voice” tends to emerge early in life, before a male even self-identifies himself as gay (Renn). Straight men who grew up around mostly females tend to have characteristics of the “gay voice” as well (Fallon). If gay speech is developed early in childhood, this would…show more content…
If gay speech is to unify, why is it that a sizable number of gay men do not possess the speech pattern that associates them with the gay community? Even heterosexual men who sound gay have no reason to adopt a way of speaking that is associated with their own biological sex and gender norms. Gay sounding speech doesn’t differ from other types of speech specifically just because it is shifted in a female-type way. Men during childhood are likely to adopt or mimic the speech pattern more typical of females because of the extensive amount of time they spend around their mothers. When looking at this, it seems like the pattern of speech known as the gay voice is an overlap between a female-shifted speech pattern and a male voice. Younger children also adopt their type of speech based off of those that they spend most of their time around. It is likely that boys adopted the speech pattern of younger girls. If a male develops the “gay voice” speech, it is likely that he will carry it into adulthood, because it is extremely difficult to change (Renn). In The Daily Beast, Kevin Fallon wrote that in

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