Fuling Chen(University of Western Australia), Roberto Togneri(University of Western Australia), Murray Maybery(University of Western Australia) and Diana Tan(University of Western Australia)
Human voices vary in their perceived masculinity or femininity, and subjective gender scores provided by human raters have long been used in psychological studies to understand the complex psychosocial relationships between people. However, there has been limited research on developing objective gender scoring of voices and examining the correlation between objective gender scores (including the weighting of each acoustic factor) and subjective gender scores (i.e., perceived masculinity/ femininity). In this work we propose a gender scoring model based on Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) and using weakly labelled data to objectively rate speakers’ masculinity and femininity. For 434 speakers, we investigated 29 acoustic measures of voice characteristics and their relationships to both the objective scores and subjective masculinity/femininity ratings. The results revealed close correspondence between objective scores and subjective ratings of masculinity for males and femininity for females (correlations of 0.667 and 0.505 respectively). Among the 29 measures, F0 was found to be the
most important vocal characteristic influencing both objective and subjective ratings for both sexes. For female voices, local absolute jitter and Harmonic-to-Noise Ratio (HNR) were moderately associated with objective scores. For male voices, F0 variance influenced objective gender scores more than the subjective ratings provided by human listeners.