Pilot Study on Conversational Speech Differences Between Transmen with and Without Hormone Replacement Therapy, A
thesisposted on 14.05.2019, 00:00 by Chris Folsom
Transgender individuals have offered researchers important and otherwise unattainable opportunities to study the behavioral effects and functions of sex hormones in human adults. Furthermore, testosterone’s role has been heavily implicated in language processing in a variety of studies (Lombardo et al, 2012; Wolf et al, 2000). In conjunction with this, a recent study on transmen analyzed before and after undergoing four months of high-dosage testosterone hormone replacement therapy (HRT) observed considerable changes in both the gray and white matter brain regions associated with speech production, a trait which has been found to be distinguishable between the sexes (Hahn et al, 2015; Signh et al, 2001). Presently, it is uncertain if sexual differentiation of speech is rooted predominantly in social and cultural factors or biological influences, and this study hopes to open the door to answering this question. The goal of this study is to determine if there is a statistically significant difference between the speech patterns between transmen who have not undergone HRT and transmen who have. We have transcribed the speech of a group of transmen that have never been exposed to HRT and a group that has undergone HRT for more than six months. We then used lexical richness measures as described in Singh (2001) to compare the two groups due to its success in differentiating male and female speech patterns.