Gender Vocal Markers: What do Children view as Salient? An Extended Research Proposal Exploring Feasibility and Clinical Significance
(2017) Gender Vocal Markers: What do Children view as Salient? An Extended Research Proposal Exploring Feasibility and Clinical Significance, no. 39.
Background While children are capable of accurately identifying the gender of an adult voice from audio recordings, what is uncertain is which vocal markers they find salient in recognising male or female vocal characteristic? Through play, regardless of the type of play, children consciously or subconsciously process and develop an increased awareness of the vocal markers associated with gender. This is displayed on both a linguistic and phonetic level. For example, vocal markers are employed when a child adopts the role of an adult male or female during play. Method Within this Extended Research Proposal, a pilot study was used to investigate the variables associated with a larger more extensive Study. The pilot study required the design and completion of a questionnaire conducted via face-to-face interviews. Participants were ten parents of children age 6 to 8 years old. The information gained will be used to aid the design of the Proposed Study i.e. identifying and dealing with unforeseen issues therefore minimising the number of potential errors that could occur. Results Obtained The Pilot Study revealed the following as significant to the Proposed Study: The Activity used to elicit data will be the Comic Strip Activity only It will be no longer than 15 minutes in duration The parent will be given the opportunity to be present during the data collection session Conclusions drawn The proposed study could clarify if the adjustments which children make when vocally portraying an adult (male or female) could, potentially put them at risk of developing a voice disorder. Identifying gender vocal markers could pinpoint precursors to disorder. This may help to understand the factors associated with the higher prevalence of Voice Disorder in boys.