Longitudinal Case Study of Transgender Voice Changes Under Testosterone Hormone Therapy.
Cler GJ., McKenna VS., Dahl KL., Stepp CE.
The purpose of this study was to comprehensively evaluate voice and speech changes in one healthy 30-year-old transgender male undergoing testosterone therapy for transition. Testing occurred at three timepoints before cross-sex hormone therapy and every 2 weeks thereafter for 1 year. Data collected included measures of acoustics, aerodynamics, and laryngeal structure and function via flexible laryngoscopy. Analysis included acoustic correlates of pitch, loudness, voice quality, and vocal tract length, as well as perceptual measures of voice quality and gender. Speaking fundamental frequency (fo) lowered from 183 Hz to 134 Hz. Phonatory frequency range (ie, minimum and maximum singing range) shifted from a range of D#3-E6 to a range of A2-A5. Perceptual measures of voice quality indicated no negative changes. Naïve listeners reliably rated the participant's speech samples as male after 37 weeks on testosterone. Few studies document in detail the variety of voice changes that occur during cross-sex hormone therapy, focusing instead on fo alone. This study adds to the literature a comprehensive case study of speech and voice changes experienced by one transmasculine participant undergoing testosterone therapy.