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reallynotburner t1_iw2zd6m wrote

American fighter jets used a woman's voice on the cockpit voice warning system. In earlier tests pilots reacted quicker and more correctly to "her" warnings than to the test male voice. More recent testing has debunked the perceived female voice advantages, but for 30 years the voice was by a woman.


dben29775 t1_iw35z7j wrote

Don’t make brains perceive female voices in the same way they perceive music? I remember seeing that awhile back, probably even on this subreddit.

Edit: This is the article and this is the study I was referring to


EVOSexyBeast t1_iw37p6v wrote

All brains perceive all voices similar to music, as they are going through the ear and being processed in the auditory cortex in the temporal lobe.


GalacticShonen t1_iw3b72c wrote

That last link is still just an article about a study, where is the actual paper? It doesn't make any mention of music. They only tested 12 people, and they were all men? That's a very small and not diverse sample size. They mention melody in quotes to describe the tonal variance between male and female voices but that is not what melody means. It's hard to say exactly what the author meant when i can't find the actual published paper making me question if it was peer reviewed to begin with.

And to clear up any confusion, music and language have overlapping cognitive resources as music is suggested to be a precursor form of communication for our species.


T0WERM0NKEY t1_iw4fs1z wrote

You mean higher pitched voices that people generally attach the female gender label to?


dben29775 t1_iwrum7y wrote

I can’t make that distinction because I didn’t do the study, but I would assume it’s related to register, yeah.


KiwasiGames t1_iw6bkmm wrote

Another possibility is that the cultural contexts pilots came from and existed in changed over those thirty years. Human psychology isn’t a constant.


reallynotburner t1_iw7ewbc wrote

My hypothesis was that they used shittier science. Yours is a more likely scenario.


KiwasiGames t1_iwax6sx wrote

It’s psychology, so yours is entirely possible. Historical psychological experimentation has been plagued with societal bias. And todays sometimes isn’t much better.


choke_da_wokes t1_iw41qc2 wrote

Lies! Dudes hate hearing women give them orders! Exception: if they’re husbands then muscle memory causes them to act


TaserLord t1_iw2w767 wrote

It does sound like the researchers are bringing an "agenda" to this. "Negative stereotype of women as compliant and willing to serve" needs to be unpacked before it can be included in the conclusions of a scientific paper.


DownvoteDaemon t1_iw2xgdy wrote

What do you mean by unpacked? How would you scientifically quantify such a thing.


TaserLord t1_iw30z8j wrote

Is there a dominant negative stereotype that matches this? Is there a balancing, positive stereotype, or stereotypes focused on other traits which might also be in play? Are respondents signing on to that negative stereotype? Is there an association between the negative stereotype and the gendered voice? Does the selection of the voice, including pitch and timbre, word selection, and voice inflection invoke the negative stereotype either unintentionally or by design? There's a lot of assumptions bound up in the statement they make - they need to be teased out before the stereotype can reasonably be put forward as the cause of the voice preference. That's all I'm saying.


Dingus10000 t1_iw2zmks wrote

Maybe look at which type of devices use which type of voices. Do devices that tell you to do things have male or female voices? How about devices that you tell to do things ? What about the difference between male and female users. I bet if you investigated like this they’d see their assumption doesn’t work out for them.


TracyMorganFreeman t1_iw3kgkz wrote

That's the point. You can't really, but doing a "study" makes it seek like there's a rigor to examining it.


LinkesAuge t1_iw36xbw wrote

It's also the type of framing you could turn into the complete opposite because the stereotype of woman as compliaant and willing to serve is just the other side of the coin where women are seen as more cooperative and less conflict seeking.


redduif t1_iw2v8rp wrote

>Researchers Ashley Martin and Malia Mason assert that 90% of virtual assistants are initially programmed with a binary female gender. This matches the negative stereotype of women as compliant and available to serve.

I don't know but generally a gps 'assistent' pretty much tells the driver what to do, turn left, take the third exit, you made a mistake turn around now.

They are much more orders than compliant words of a submissive assistent.
Also, I don't know of any non-gendered vocal product so imo it's biased by habit.

I choose the voice which annoys me the least, whichever gender that is.
Everything has to be about genders these days it seems. Is gender even the right word here or is it more a stereotypical generalization of a female or male voice, which would mostly be related to the sex, rarely the gender.
Do gender fluid people alter the pitch of their voice when they change genders ?

*eta : Just to be clear, i'm not attacking any gender choice or fluidity thereof of people, but the research and products in general making things about gender, just because the topic is popular right now.


JesustheSpaceCowboy t1_iw31obn wrote

I want to see a psychologist explain why some of us immediately turn it into an Australian. I always go Aussie male as well.


Whale-n-Flowers t1_iw350oa wrote

I like the Australian male voice because it makes it sound like my buddy and I are going on an adventure.


JesustheSpaceCowboy t1_iw357zj wrote

That’s why I have mine set to that as well, my phone calls me captain cause it makes me sound like an adventurer


Whale-n-Flowers t1_iw35qm7 wrote

If I used more voice commands or ever had my phone off silent, I'd definitely try to find if Brent Spiner has made one as Data.

Honestly, I rarely even turn the GPS voice on these days. Haven't actually heard from my adventure buddy in half a decade.


_ZombieHero_ t1_iw3ai08 wrote

I went with Aussie female. My kids are constantly asking what the accent is


DarkTreader t1_iw387um wrote

I don’t think it’s the prevailing opinion that navigation voices are “commanding”. While they aren’t timidly saying “would you please turn right?” They are being assistants. You initially ask the device to give you directions, thus freeing you up to concentrate on operating the vehicle. You are delegating, you are in charge, and the voice is giving clear instructions as a helper but in no way do most people consider these commands. If you miss the turn it recalculates and gives you new directions. You are free to ignore them. They are clearly subservient to you in operation so I believe your perception, while perfectly valid for you, is in the minority and navigation is by no means designed to be a commander but an assistant. If they felt any more forceful people would less likely to use them.


redduif t1_iw3jvh6 wrote

I wrote a whole reply to this but frankly the original study being behind paywall this article might not represent it properly, so I scrapped that.

To illustrate "If they owned a gendered technology item, participants felt more attached to the item. Gendered items also led to more negative stereotypical thinking about gender."

What does that even mean?

"The researchers acknowledge that the participants were all from the United States, and it is possible that these results may not apply in all cultures where gendered technology is present".

I sought for this information indeed, because they talked about cars.
A car in french is female, in dutch it's male although one wouldn't know without a dictionary.
In Spanish it is male.
While they specify geographical location, the article doesn't specify native or even secundary language.

A prominent vacuum robot is called Roomba.
The 'a' may suggest it's rather female.

So before going in a whole discussion of gender perception, I'd need to read the premise of the study.
This article to me suggests they started out with some negative suppositions, which could bias the conclusions, and participants speaking other languages may have an influence on their perception of gendered objects as English is one of the very few gender neutral languages.
Although it's rather mothership for exemple, so it exists unofficially for some words.
And while mustang had Boss they also had Shelby, being quite the cool car in several movies, so what does that mean in their affection yet negativity conclusion ?

While in a way one could argue negative publicity is also publicity, just based on this article I'm not convinced there is any link to gender perception of objects and the reason to buy that object or not.

Especially since assistant voices are often a choice on each product rather than having to choose male female or neutral beforehand.


DarkTreader t1_iw3osg4 wrote

All this is good, I’m merely disputing your statement in the second paragraph that directions are “commands”. I think this is important to your thesis because you believe the article made some unsupported assertion while your statement about directions being commands i believe commits the same error. Everything else I have no dispute with.


moutnmn87 t1_iw5b1i6 wrote

Im not sure being more forceful would make people less likely to use assistant apps . Both my girlfriend and I would choose pick a grumpy sailor mouth voice for the hos of that was an option.


Agariculture t1_iw3ko8j wrote

I prefer my navigation app to have a british females voice.


redduif t1_iw3llck wrote

And so as to go from the article, is that because of some greater affection towards them is or stereotypical negativity because you needed it to be a subordinate and thus a female according to them?

And also, if the best navigation system had only neutral or male voices, would you rather have bought/used an inferior system with a female voice ?

Because that's kind of what they suggest.


Agariculture t1_iw3nqn1 wrote

I have has many nav systems in the last 20ish years. I have a British female voice because I can and I like the sound. If it wasn’t available I couldn’t care less.


redduif t1_iw4ghnf wrote

Same here. Not about the voice but the principle.


nonxoperational t1_iw3c2k7 wrote

“Everything is about gender” cries the person who’s complaining that everything is about gender…

You’re not in traffic, mate. You are traffic.


Sir_Bax t1_iw2wt7e wrote

>I don't know but generally a gps 'assistent' pretty much tells the driver what to do, turn left, take the third exit, you made a mistake turn around now.

>They are much more orders than compliant words of a submissive assistent.

So boomer wife stereotype?


redduif t1_iw2xly7 wrote

Maybe more gen x? Eta unless they chose a male voice of course, not sure what that would be. Daddy maybe ?


grizgrin75 t1_iw304fh wrote

Been a thing ever since people gendered boats and gods.


The_Humble_Frank t1_iw697uu wrote

...not sure if you are aware, but many modern languages gender books, food, chairs, pencils, i.e. everything, as part of their normal syntax.

Old English lost its gendered articles, starting in the 10th century and completely by the 14th century.


TracyMorganFreeman t1_iw3kmb5 wrote

Boats being gendered has more to do with arbitrary grammatical gender.


grizgrin75 t1_iw3qmjo wrote

I'll take your word for it. I merely presented these as some of the first instances of people gendering a class of things in their lives.

Also, as a semi-related side note, not all cultures that gender boats gender them female, which seems to drive the cultures that DO gender them female right up a tree. Kinda weird, but whatever.


TracyMorganFreeman t1_iw5zux1 wrote

Gender in grammar is just another dimension to word, like case, number or tense. It isn't even necessarily masculine or feminine. German has a neuter gender as well; Arabic has a two level gender system with masculine/feminine and animate/inanimate. Dravidian languages have genders that distinguish a noun between human and non-human classifications.

Grammatical gender largely serves to distinguish the antecedents of pronouns in the same sentence through agreement with other words. It isn't necessary for a language to function(only 25% or so of languages have it), but adds granularity with fewer words.

The reason people who gender a particular noun masculine in one language are put off by them being gendered grammatically feminine in another isn't because of bias for or against one sex, but the normal jarring effect of differences in syntax. Some languages have different rules for apposition that mess with you, and some languages have different rules for whether an adjective for a noun follows or precedes the noun to which it applies, or whether there's agreement in number or not.

English is a particular one of confusion for non native speakers because it's a Germanic language with a simplified Germanic grammar structure(absent grammatical gender and noun declension) but has tons of French loanwords and cognates that brings with them French syntaxes and orthographies(German doesn't have silent letters for example)


Test19s t1_iw35lbu wrote

All vehicles are female and all deities are male. I’m old school that way.


jesus_fucks t1_iw6vyvu wrote

Please respect my horse’s right to choose the gender it is most comfortable being labeled.


Midknight129 t1_iw33kuk wrote

If you really want to rigorously test this, take a large, diverse sample of people, put each one in an fMRI and watch the brain activity in real-time as they answer questions regarding preference for various synthesized voices on different kinds of technology. Personal assistants, navigation, you must construct additional pylons, give them a variety of different examples, watch which parts of the brain light up when listening to each one, and match it up to which ones they like best and which ones they like least. Then make a correlation map for which brain areas are most active for any given choice.

Then, get a second sample set of people, do the same thing, but sort through the results looking only at the brain activity and make a prediction of what their answers were based on how that activity matches up with the previously established map. Eg. We note that activity in [this] part of the brain indicates preference for female voice in receiving directions. This person has activity in that same part of the brain, so we predict that their answer was a preference for female voice. The more accurate the predictions, the stronger the model. This is where AI analysis and deep learning can truly shine.


PunkRockTeacher t1_iw4r251 wrote

>you must construct additional pylons

I could hear this with my eyes, and my hands just jerked to B->P->Mouse 1.


AberrantRambler t1_iw4mskd wrote

The AI has determined that people pay the most attention to Fran Descher and all AIs will now exclusively use her voice..hehehehhe


gentlemancaller2000 t1_iw2vm47 wrote

I’m a little confused and it’s probably my ignorance, but I was thrown by this statement:

“Researchers Ashley Martin and Malia Mason assert that 90% of virtual assistants are initially programmed with a binary female gender.”

Are they saying that because Siri and Alexis sound female they’re necessarily binary? I don’t recall Siri ever telling me anything that would suggest that. How would a digital assistant be programmed so that it sounds non-binary or gender neutral?


redduif t1_iw2w2d4 wrote

It's just a stereotypical male or female voice. I don't know why they have to bring gender into that.


essendoubleop t1_iw2xii4 wrote

I'm all twisted and turned upside down with the gender discussion in the past few years, but I thought female doesn't refer to gender, but sex? It's kind of silly how confused I am now about a very simple thing.


DarkTreader t1_iw38rzq wrote

It refers to both. You could be assigned female at birth by identify as male. You could be assigned male at birth but identify as nonbinary.

Your sex refers to what you were assigned at birth and what sex organs you have. Gender applies to what you identify.


wiga_nut t1_iw76jy3 wrote

>How would a digital assistant be programmed so that it sounds non-binary or gender neutral?

Probably something like this


mienaikoe t1_iw31pik wrote

Probably the gender of the original voice actors


pyriphlegeton t1_iw472zg wrote

"[...] 90% of virtual assistants are initially programmed with a binary female gender. This matches the negative stereotype of women as compliant and available to serve."

Well...sure but it also matches the positive stereotype of women being nicer and more likable. Also maybe more trustworthy and reliable.

We can just make up reasons but those are just unfounded allegations.

Personally, I find female voices to sound nicer and more friendly. That would be my reason, as far as I'm aware.


VividEchoChamber t1_iw2yquq wrote

Can we all stop talking about gender? It’s such a lame topic that lacks any true intellectual substance. Ugh.


SlothOfDoom t1_iw342mb wrote

Such a typical take for a...whatever gender you are!


AqUaNtUmEpIc t1_iw3jf5m wrote

I’ve never considered that using Siri makes me guilty of perpetuating negative stereotypes or that women in general were guilty of this. It doesn’t feel like a servant and it has access to far more RAM than I so it has more knowledge about nearly everything.

Further, there will be a pocket of society that will take issues with “a binary male voice” giving them “orders”. This is trivial.


minecon1776 t1_iw33f0u wrote

good news: everything is gendered in like every language other than english and a few others


Test19s t1_iw35rbk wrote

Spoken Mandarin only uses they pronouns.


Gullible_ManChild t1_iw3ofjx wrote

But not written Mandarin which is an oddity.


Test19s t1_iw3oz50 wrote

Iirc they changed it to be more like European languages.


nek_wizard t1_iw39256 wrote

Don't we generally feel more attached to anything we personify. "Gendered" is just a way to trigger people.


Stalagmus t1_iw3u0zy wrote

Good lord that’s pathetic

Glances down at my Siri chest tattoo


T0WERM0NKEY t1_iw4fmdh wrote

What does "gendered technology" even mean?


greentshirtman t1_iw79dyd wrote

Male voice or female voice on your Alexa or Siri. And if your car is Pink.


T0WERM0NKEY t1_iw8pqrk wrote

Tones and colors don't have genders unless we pretend they do


greentshirtman t1_iw8qjcg wrote

......yes, that's part of the article we are discussing.

"Finally, participants were presented with one of three options, a new car gendered female, a new car gendered male, or a genderless new car. They were then asked to rate the car’s humanness, and the researchers assessed gender stereotypes associated with the gendered cars."

Don't ask a question you don't want answered.


Trancetastic16 t1_iwb79zt wrote

Pseudo-science by, which 99% is and the standard of quality for r/science.


bat_manual t1_iw67wvx wrote

>Researchers Ashley Martin and Malia Mason assert that 90% of virtual assistants are initially programmed with a binary female gender. This matches the negative stereotype of women as compliant and available to serve. If the consequence of gendering technology is to support negative gender stereotypes, why do companies continue to produce gendered technology? The research team hypothesized that gendered technology creates affection, which increases the individual desire for these products.

I don't personally use digital assistants, but I imagine that a female voice is easier to hear in many situations because the higher register is less likely to blend in with background noise, and thus easier to hear.


Spocks-Nephew t1_iw3ob7w wrote

My smart speaker identifies as an amplifier.


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Psychological-Log669 t1_iw317lq wrote

I can believe it. I for sure like the sound of the woman voice over the man.


PhelesDragon t1_iw3238c wrote

Jokes on you, my phone is gender neutral.


CroCreation t1_iw4054l wrote

There is no technological difference between artificially simulated genders. AI gender is a social construct.


Orollo t1_iw4rzs7 wrote

This seems awfully unscientific for a science sub.


TallDarkandPantsom t1_iw5r1yg wrote

Gendered technology.. Is this why my TV has a moustache?


TheSecularGlass t1_iw8ykc3 wrote

The article discusses this, but most here won’t read it: It’s not specifically gendering that does it, it’s anthropomorphizing things. We get more attached to people than things, so when we attribute more “people-y” traits to things, we get more attached to things.


106503204 t1_iw2wabq wrote

But what if our robot AI overlord identifies as an Apache helicopter?


KVG47 t1_iw35yds wrote

I mean…they might be Apache Attack helicopters…


DeeDeegc t1_iw3uokg wrote

Hold up! Did they just assume Siri's gender? These bigots need to slow their roll.


[deleted] t1_iw39g7m wrote

New groundbreaking research from the university of Ellen Paige


local_eclectic t1_iw37ubd wrote

Too bad. We still shouldn't make it anyway because it reinforces gender stereotypes and roles, and that tends to negatively impact women in the long run much more than men since traditional gender roles oppress women.

People also respond more to sensationalized stories rather than real news. We've seen how toxic it has been to our societies promote that kind of content. More popular doesn't mean better or healthier.