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Sound research at Acoustical Society meeting
Date:5/9/2011

ldren who were less attentive to speech early-on performed more poorly on a word recognition task. This insight should help guide speech-language pathologists working with children who have cochlear implants. The presentation 1pPP5, "Deaf infants' attention to speech after cochlear implantation," will be Monday afternoon, May 23, in Grand Ballroom C. Abstract: http://asa.aip.org/web2/asa/abstracts/search.may11/asa220.html

Homosexual/Heterosexual Speech: The Power of (Less than) a Single Word

It is not uncommon for us to draw knee-jerk conclusions about people based on how they speak. "This is a phenomenon that occurs every day," says study leader Erik C. Tracy, a cognitive psychologist at Ohio State University. In a series of experiments, Tracy and colleague Nicholas P. Satariano had seven gay and seven heterosexual males record a list of monosyllabic words, such as "mass," "food," and "sell." Listeners were then asked to identify the sexual orientation of the speakers when played those entire words, the first two letter sounds (for example, "ma"), or just the first letter sound ("m"). Although they couldn't accurately guess the sexual orientation of the speaker with just the first letter sound, "when presented with the first two letter sounds, listeners were 75 percent accurate," says Tracy. "We believe that listeners are using the acoustic information contained in vowels to make this sexual orientation decision," he says. "Other researchers have done various acoustic analyses to understand why gay and heterosexual men produce vowels differently. Whatever this difference is, it seems that listeners are using it to make this sexual orientation decision." The presentation 1pSC19, "Differentiating between gay and heterosexual male speech," will be Monday afternoon, May 23 in Metropolitan room B. Abstract:

Contact: Charles E. Blue
cblue@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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