Nasality in Homosexual Men, Compared to Heterosexual Men and Women

Do homosexual men sound different from other people, when they talk? This Belgian study is a new attempt to answer that question:

Nasality in Homosexual Men: A Comparison with Heterosexual Men and Women,” Belle Vanpoucke [pictured here], Marjan Cosyns, Kim Bettens, and John Van Borse, Archives of Sexual Behavior, epub 2018. The authors, at Ghent University, Belgium, explain:

“Several studies reported that pitch and articulation may vary according to a person’s sexual orientation. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether homosexual males also demonstrate differences in nasal resonance compared to heterosexual males. Speech samples of 30 self-identified homosexual males, 35 heterosexual males, and 34 heterosexual females were compared both instrumentally and perceptually. Nasalance scores were calculated for the sounds /a/, /i/, /u/, and /m/ and for an oronasal, oral, and nasal text. In addition, the Nasality Severity Index was determined. Spontaneous speech samples were used for a perceptual evaluation of nasal resonance. Neither the nasalance scores nor the Nasality Severity Index were significantly different between the homosexual and heterosexual males. Heterosexual females, on the other hand, showed significantly higher nasalance values for the oronasal and oral text and a significantly lower Nasality Severity Index than both the homosexual and the heterosexual males. The perceptual judgment revealed no significant differences between the three groups. The results of this study suggest that, in contrast to pitch and articulation, nasality does not tend to vary with sexual orientation.”

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