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Straight or Gay? Vowels in Speech May Give it Away
For the average listener, the vowel sounds in an unfamiliar voice quickly give away the speaker's sexual orientation, a new study finds.
"I'm not sure what exactly the listeners are responding to in the vowel," study lead author Erik C. Tracy, a cognitive psychologist at Ohio State University, said in a news release from the American Institute of Physics. "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."
When hearing an unfamiliar voice at the other end of the phone line, most people instantly judge the stranger's characteristics based on how they speak, and the new study suggests listeners are usually pretty accurate in their determination....