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Testosterone’s Impact on Voice: Does It Truly Deepen Your Vocal Tone?

By Josh Whalen
November 7, 2023

The interplay between hormones and voice modulation has long intrigued scientists, voice therapists, and gender scholars. Of particular interest is the relationship between testosterone and voice deepening. As testosterone is often associated with male puberty and its subsequent changes, many wonder if it directly impacts the depth of one's voice. This article delves into existing studies and research to uncover the truth behind testosterone and its role in voice modulation.

Studies and Research

The relationship between testosterone and voice has been examined from various angles. The most conclusive evidence stems from studies involving male puberty, as well as gender-affirming hormone treatments among transgender individuals.

In the realm of male puberty, as boys grow, their testosterone levels rise, causing several physiological changes, one of which is the enlargement of the larynx, or voice box. The vocal cords lengthen and thicken, resulting in a deeper voice. Studies have shown that these changes in voice depth correlate directly with rising testosterone levels.

For transgender individuals, especially trans men and non-binary people who undergo testosterone hormone therapy, the voice is an essential aspect of their transition. According to an article on Christella Antoni's website, testosterone therapy results in the thickening of the vocal cords, which leads to a more profound and resonant voice. However, the extent and rate of voice change vary from person to person, and some might not experience as significant a shift as others.

Plume has conducted extensive research in this domain, observing that many individuals undergoing testosterone therapy notice a gradual drop in their vocal pitch over several months. Their studies also showed that while some people experience a dramatic voice deepening, others might notice subtle changes, indicating the variable nature of testosterone's impact.

HRT Guru further supports this evidence, noting that the voice-deepening effect is irreversible. Once the vocal cords have thickened due to testosterone exposure, the deepened voice remains, even if testosterone therapy is stopped.

Does Testosterone Affect Voice?

Based on the research and observations, the answer is a resounding yes; testosterone influences voice depth. As testosterone levels rise, whether due to natural male puberty or gender-affirming hormone therapy, the vocal cords thicken and elongate. This process alters the pitch and resonance of the voice, typically making it deeper.

However, a few crucial caveats are worth noting:

  • Individual Variation: The degree to which testosterone affects voice depth varies among individuals. Factors such as genetics, the age at which testosterone therapy begins, and the dosage all play a role in determining the outcome.
  • Irreversibility: It's essential to understand that voice changes induced by testosterone are permanent. Once the vocal cords undergo thickening, the deepening of the voice remains, regardless of whether testosterone therapy continues.
  • Voice Training: While testosterone induces physiological changes in the vocal cords, voice training and therapy can further influence how a person sounds. Many transgender individuals opt for voice training to achieve a specific vocal tone or pitch, complementing the changes induced by testosterone.

Testosterone plays a significant role in determining voice depth

 with a clear correlation between increased testosterone levels and voice deepening. Whether through the natural process of male puberty or via gender-affirming hormone therapy, the impact of testosterone on the voice is profound and lasting.

However, individual experiences might vary. While testosterone provides the physiological foundation for a deeper voice by altering the vocal cords, individual genetics, therapy duration, dosage, and voice training can all influence the final vocal outcome. As science continues to explore the intricate relationships between hormones and voice, it becomes ever clearer that testosterone undeniably deepens the vocal tone for many.

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