Date of Award

5-2014

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Advisor

Nancy E. Hall

Second Committee Member

Insop Kim

Third Committee Member

Mazie Hough

Abstract

Individuals identifying as transgender may experience concerns related to voice if they feel that it does not correspond with their gender identity. The present study examined the relationship between self-perceptual ratings of speaking voice with self- perceptual ratings of transgender congruence among MTF and FTM individuals. Participants (n = 28) identifying as transgender, transsexual, and/or transitioning completed an online survey that included a self-report measure related to gender identity, the Transgender Congruence Scale (TCS), which includes subscales for Appearance Congruence and Gender Identity Acceptance, as well as self-report measures related to voice, including an adaptation of the Transgender Voice Questionnaire for Male-to- Female Transsexuals (TVQMtF), items from the Voice Handicap Index (VHI), and the Voice-Related Quality of Life (V-RQOL). Results indicate that a relationship exists between more negative subjective ratings of voice and 1) more negative impact of voice (as measured by the adapted TVQ), 2) lower voice-related quality of life (as measured by the V-RQOL), and 3) lower transgender congruence (as measured by the TCS). The adapted TVQ was highly correlated with the V-RQOL. Adapted TVQ score was found to predict TCS score, indicating that participants who perceived a more negative impact of voice tended to have lower transgender congruence (i.e. less appearance congruence and less gender identity acceptance). Results supported the hypothesis that a relationship between ratings of voice and ratings of gender identity/congruence may exist, as a voice perceived as incongruent with gender appears to impact sense of gender identity/congruence. Findings are discussed relative to clinical implications and the role of the speech-language pathologist in a transgender individual’s transition process.

Share