Why are there Differences in Male and Female Voices?
Differences in male and female voices and speech can be split between 5 main areas; respiration, phonation, resonance, articulation and prosody.
In particular, major variances occur due to anatomical and physiological differences in vocal folds (used to produce phonation, also referred to as sound). Vocal folds are membranous tissue located in the larynx, or voice box, which vibrate as a result of exhalation and produce voice.
Vocal fold vibration directly correlates to pitch; the faster the vocal folds vibrate, the higher the pitch created..
Typically, those assigned male at birth have heavier and thicker vocal folds, vibrating slower, creating a lower pitch. Those assigned female at birth typically have thinner and tighter vocal folds, vibrating more quickly, creating a higher pitch.
In addition, anatomical differences in the spaces and cavities between the chest and the face influence the way in which sound is modified; referred to as resonance.Typically, those assigned male at birth produce a chest resonance; that is, the sound produced at the level of the larynx travels to the chest and ‘bounces’ from the surrounding structures. This occurrence adds to a perceptually deeper, more male sounding voice.
Those assigned female at birth produce a forward resonance; that is,the sound produced at the level of the larynx travels to the face and creates a ‘buzzing’ feeling in the nose, cheeks and mouth. This adds to a perceptually lighter, more female sounding voice.
A mixture of these main components, as well as differences in speech,intonation and language, add to the perceptual differences heard in male and female speech. Through male to female voice training, you will learn to target each area and generate improvement and awareness in order for voice feminization to occur.
Why work with a Speech Pathologist?
Speech Pathologists utilise a clinical evidence-based practice and apply extensive knowledge covering the behavioural, anatomical and physiological components of voice. This professional knowledge will allow you to learn to self monitor each component of your voice with expert guidance, increasing your awareness of your vocal quality.
As the vocal folds can become easily irritated, it is incredibly important this awareness is strongly developed along with specialist guidance on transgender voice change; reducing the potential for vocal fold pathologies (such as nodules) to form when one self attempts to modify their voice too quickly, or incorrectly undertakes voice modification
Vocal Key Speech Pathology take pride in delivering feminine voice training by a qualified & specialised Speech Pathologist. View our article on how perfect practice in transgender voice training is facilitated with the help of a Speech Pathologist.