Sequestration is the watchword in Washington these days. Because of the minuscule mandated budget reductions, Americans are now being subjected to air travel delays and national park closures, among other inconveniences. Yet somehow the federal government managed to come up with $152,000 to study how to make males who think they’re females sound like the fairer sex when they speak.
To “inform and provide new directions for transgender (TG) voice care, thereby improving the lives of TG people who feel their voice is a great obstacle to living as their preferred gender,” the National Institutes of Health (NIH), courtesy of U.S. taxpayers, ponied up the cash in 2012 — a time when the sequester was not yet in effect but when the need to save money was quite clear.
“Incomplete gender presentation can negatively impact the TG individual’s job opportunities, relationships, and social acceptance,” states the project description. The two-year study, it says, “will inform voice therapy clinical protocols for transgender speakers who face discrimination when their voice does not match their preferred gender presentation, which limits their ability to contribute to society and live healthy, safe lives.”
In other words, instead of helping these poor, confused individuals come to terms with their biological sex, the NIH wants to further confuse them — and everyone else — by helping them change their voices to conform to the sex they want to be.
The NIH awarded the grant to George Washington University, where the project is being led by assistant professor Adrienne B. Hancock, whose “primary research addresses transgender voice and communications,” according to the school’s website. “She has examined transgender voice physiology as well as the psychosocial influence of voice and communication skills for transgender speakers.”
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