Happy Pride Month, everyone! This is a time to celebrate and uplift the voices of the LGBTQ+ community, and what better way to do so than by diving into some fascinating research that explores the intersections of speech, perception, and gender diversity? In the Across Acoustics episode, “Speech Research Methods and Gender-Diverse Speakers,” Brandon Merritt discusses the article, “Auditory Free Classification of Gender-Diverse Speakers,” published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA) with co-authors Tessa Bent, Rowan Kilgore, and Cameron Eads. Their research sheds light on how listeners perceive and classify the gender of speakers, moving beyond the traditional binary notions of gender.

Understanding how we perceive gender in speech has profound implications for communication and inclusivity. By exploring the acoustic and perceptual characteristics that influence gender attribution, Merritt’s research helps to create a more nuanced understanding of gender diversity. This is particularly important for supporting the representation and recognition of transgender, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming individuals in both academic research and everyday interactions.

Brandon Merritt’s contributions to the field of speech and gender perception extend beyond this podcast episode. Here are a couple more publications that you should check out:

Speech Beyond the Binary: Some Acoustic-Phonetic and Auditory-Perceptual Characteristics of Non-Binary Speakers” (JASA Express Letters, March 2023): This paper explores the acoustic and perceptual features of non-binary speakers, providing insights into how non-binary identities are expressed and perceived through speech.

Revisiting the Acoustics of Speaker Gender Perception: A Gender Expansive Perspective” (JASA, January 2022): This work revisits traditional models of gender perception in speech, incorporating a broader range of gender identities and offering a more inclusive perspective.

As we celebrate Pride Month, it’s crucial to recognize and support research that honors and explores the diversity of human experience. Brandon Merritt’s work exemplifies this commitment by pushing the boundaries of how we understand and categorize gender through speech. So, take a moment to listen to the podcast, read Merritt’s publications, and reflect on the importance of inclusivity in research and beyond.

Happy Pride Month, and here’s to celebrating the vibrant diversity that makes our world a richer, more understanding place!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This