A study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found having a gay voice can make it harder to get a higher salary or a leadership position at work.
The study used voice samples and pictures from gay and heterosexual speakers. Researchers then asked participants to form impressions of these applicants for a CEO position and suggest appropriate monthly salaries.
The researchers found that participants rated candidates they perceived as gay or lesbian lower. Participants were less likely to recommend these candidates for CEO positions and were more likely to recommend lower salaries.
For the male candidates, voice mattered more than looks. Candidates with a “gay” voice were perceived as more feminine, and less worthy for a leadership role.
Lesbian-sounding candidates were perceived as more masculine, but that didn’t help them. They were considered gender non-conforming and received negative evaluations.
Researcher Dr. Fabio Fasoli, quoted in Phys.org, said, “These results demonstrate that the mere sound of a voice is sufficient to trigger stereotyping denying gay- and lesbian-sounding speakers the qualities that are considered typical of their gender.”