Why do gay guys talk funny?

+43 votes
asked Mar 6, 2015 in Culture & Society by joanna (820 points)
It seems I can always tell a gay guy just from his voice. He may not act effeminate or look any less manly than the other men around, but I can still tell when I listen to him talk. Why is that? Why do gay males talk differently from straight males?

2 Answers

+10 votes
answered Mar 12, 2015 by Courtnie (660 points)
I think we’re conditioned by media to believe most gay men have a distinctive way of talking. How many TV shows and movies have you seen that portray a gay character as someone who speaks in a feminine manner or minces around while waving a limp wrist and giggling? Talk about stereotyping!

In reality there is no stereotypical gay male, just as there are no stereotypical straight males. Each individual is unique. However, research done by Henry Rogers and Ron Smyth, both linguistic professors at the University of Toronto, found that a majority of people can correctly identify the sexual preference of a man by listening to his voice even without seeing him.

The professors plan on doing further research to pinpoint exactly what it is about the voice that tips off the listener to their sexual preference.
0 votes
answered Mar 11, 2015 by Yehudis (340 points)
Here’s a study that I know which may answer your question why do gay guys talk funny. But a reminder, “funny” is not fun to use when referring to the way that gay people talk.

Two psychologists from Ohio State University conducted a study and discovered that 75% of the time people could determine which male speakers were gay by listening to them speak. In this study, however, instead of just having the subjects say whole words they each pronounced one letter of a word at a time. The first two letters were consonants and listeners could not determine the sexual preference of the speaker. The third letter was a vowel and that’s when listeners got really accurate. The conclusion is there is something about the way gay males pronounce their vowels that is different than the way heterosexual males say the same vowels.

Erik C. Tracey, the lead author of the study says they are not sure what that difference is but listeners seem to hear it and use that acoustical difference to make their judgement call.

Most gay males are not as blatant in their voice mannerisms as the media often presents them to us, yet it seems some slight difference in speech patterns maybe exist between heterosexual and homosexual males. Oddly enough, there is no empirical evidence that the same difference occurs between heterosexual females and lesbians.
commented Mar 18, 2015 by Victor (490 points)
Guess that why people like me are curious about questions, such as why do gay people's voices sound different, since I can’t tell if someone is a lesbian by the way she talks…
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