Bisexual men sound more masculine than straight men, study claims

21 July 2023, 20:42

Bisexual men are perceived as more masculine than straight men
Bisexual men are perceived as more masculine than straight men. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Bisexual men sound more masculine than their straight male counterparts, a study has suggested.

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Researchers at the University of Sydney compared the voices of gay, straight and bisexual men.

They played the voices of the 60 men - divided into three groups of 20 - to volunteers.

These recruits were asked to rank how they perceived the men's sexual orientation on a scale from zero to ten. Zero meant exclusively heterosexual and ten meant exclusively homosexual.

Researchers also asked the volunteers to rate how they perceived each man’s perceived level of femininity or masculinity based on their voices, using a similar scale of zero to ten.

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Recruits were able to distinguish between gay and straight men voices with 62% accuracy, the study found.

But they weren't able to work out who was bisexual and who was straight with much accuracy.

On the scale presented by researchers, volunteers found that bisexual men's voices were more masculine than the voices of both gay and straight men.

Researchers claimed the ability to identify a man’s bisexual identity from his voice alone could have critical social implications such as helping to reduce feelings of alienation.

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An abstract of the study, entitled reads: "The present study examined whether bisexual men can be identified from their voices akin to how gay men can be identified on their voice alone.

"If this is the case, voice may be an important target of discrimination on the one hand but may also counter the invisibility many bisexuals feel (if their bisexual identities can be apprehended by their voice alone, without explicit disclosure required).

"These findings may also shine light on whether bisexual male voices, like gay male voices, differ from straight voices in terms of their gender non-conformity – a question that to date has not been examined."

The study was published in the Journal of Sex Research.