October 17, 2013

How Testosterone Effects the Transman’s Voice

Transwomen tend to look at transmen with some envy, for while estrogen does nothing to improve the quality of the female voice, testosterone can effect significant and permanent changes to the voice of the transman. But what happens, specifically? 

It’s really just Biology 101 for anyone who knows what boys go through during puberty. Testosterone thickens and lengthens the vocal chords, making them vibrate at a lower pitch. Transwomen don’t get that same vocal assist because our vocal chords are already thicker. Hormones make things grow; they can’t make things shrink. 

That this is so simple and straightforward is probably why the research paper trail on FtMs and voice quality is rather thin.There doesn’t seem to be actual studies published on the phenomenon. There have been plenty of studies on the effects of testosterone on the voice, but none specifically on the transman voice. It’s just a known thing that happens. It would be an interesting study to conduct, I think, in order to quantify the amount of thickening or the degree of deepening. But no one has done that yet. 

So enjoy those voices, men. We women will continue to listen enviously. 

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