This article describes a controlled experiment designed to determine what people listen to specifically when judging a speaker's sexuality. Four experimental stimuli were produced by digitally shortening the syllable duration and narrowing the pitch of one male speaker reading a passage. Listeners rated various combinations of the four stimuli on 10 affective scales, including straight/gay and effeminate/masculine. Altering the two variables was insufficient to alter listeners' perceptions of the speaker's sexuality to a level of significance. However, significant correlations between the different attitudinal scales illustrated that perceptions of sexuality are ideologically linked to other perceptions of personality and personhood.
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EREZ LEVON; HEARING “GAY”: PROSODY, INTERPRETATION, AND THE AFFECTIVE JUDGMENTS OF MEN'S SPEECH. American Speech 1 February 2006; 81 (1): 56–78. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00031283-2006-003
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