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Study reveals men discriminate against potential employees who have ‘gay voice’

women were found to not judge based on voice

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(‘Do I Sound Gay?’ screenshot via YouTube.)

Research has found that heterosexual men discriminate against potential employees whose voices sound stereotypically gay or lesbian.

The study, which was published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, reported that sounding “gay” when applying for jobs could potentially keep someone from getting the job if the employer is a heterosexual male.

At the University of Surrey, 40 straight-identifying men were given photos and voice samples of men and women but their sexual identities were not disclosed. The voice samples were manipulated for some of the men to sound more feminine and for some of the women to sound huskier.

Participants were less likely to think a “gay sounding” person should get a job or higher salary over a “straight sounding” person.

The same study was done with 40 straight-identifying women who found no preference over voice.

Dr. Fabio Fasoli, lead researcher of the study, told Broadly that this research shows there is still embedded discrimination in society.

“It is revealing, that despite all the work to lessen discrimination against the LGBT community, people subconsciously typecast an individual before getting to know them. This study highlights that it can be a real problem in the workplace and for people’s career prospects,” Fasoli says.

“This study demonstrates that unacceptable levels of discrimination, be they subconscious or conscious, still exists in our society, and we need to do more to tackle the discrimination faced by the LGBT community,” Fasoli continued.

In the 2015 documentary, “Do I Sound Gay?” the “gay voice” was explained to not just be a quality of LGBT people but that some LGBT people also “sound heterosexual” as well.

 

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