A new study is aiming to determine what about the way people communicate conveys their gender to others.
Teresa Hardy is a speech-language pathologist and works primarily with transgender women, she says most of her clients are usually misgendered on the phone.
Hardy is conducting the study and says they’re looking for around ten transgender women who will come in, watch a cartoon and then they’ll be recorded while they retell and story.
“We’re able to take various measurements of their communication from those recordings, and later we’ll have people watch and listen and those recordings and make ratings, and that will help us to hone in on what is it about their communication that’s cueing other people to their gender.”
Hardy says her work is where the idea for the study came from and her desire and to help trans women communicate better.
“When I started doing this work almost ten years ago there was very little research to guide the treatment that I was providing and I found that I had more questions than answers about to better help trans women to feminize their communication.”
She says the study is building off of information already known, like that pitch is primary cue for gender but that’s not sufficient.
“There will be other things about the way people are communicating, maybe aspects of their voice or perhaps even the words that they’re using, how their pitch goes up and down when they’re talking. We think these things might be contributing but we just don’t know how important it is.”
Hardy says the study is looking for around ten transgender women, who have been living in the female gender role the majority of the time for six months, must be fluent English speakers and have use of their upper body.
You can contact Teresa Hardy through e-mail at email@example.com