Waste of the Day: NIH Awards $200,000 Grant for Transgender Voice Training

This story originally was published by Real Clear Wire

By Adam Andrzejewski
Real Clear Wire

Topline: The National Institutes of Health is paying $214,000 for three researchers to create a “transgender voice training” app, according to Fox News.

Key facts: The study aims to address “voice dysphoria,” which researchers say causes lower quality of life when a person’s voice does not match their gender identity.

Researchers will coach 40 trans women to help change the pitch and resonance of their voice to sound more feminine.

The participants will meet once a week with a speech-language pathologist. Half of them will use a generic voice training software and half will use the app specifically made for transgender people, so that results can be compared.

If tests are successful, the software will be released to the public for free.

The researchers — a professor from the University of Cincinnati and two speech scientists from New York University — have each already received taxpayer money for similar voice dysphoria studies, according to the College Fix.

Background: The study focuses on “gender-affirming voice and communication training,” a service that is already dipping into taxpayers’ wallets. As of 2022, 13 states’ Medicaid covered the training, with 18 more having no clear policy on the coverage.

The 2024 research grant comes from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, an agency of the National Institutes of Health.

The NIH is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, which sent paychecks to almost 90,000 people in 2022, according to auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.

There were 2,646 employees who earned more than $214,000, the grant amount for the voice training app.

Supporting quote: “Some trans people can be negatively impacted if their voice is perceived as incongruous with their gender identity, and they may choose to work with a speech pathologist to achieve a vocal presentation that is comfortable for them,” said Tara McAllister, one of the three study leaders.

“The staRt software allows learners to visualize the resonant frequencies of the vocal tract, which could make it easier to adjust them to match a target that is appropriate for their personal speech goals.”

Summary: Three researchers are getting an additional $214,000 the federal government to study gender-affirming voice therapy — from an agency that’s supposed to focus on deafness and other communication disorders — on top of past funding they’ve already received.

The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com

This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.


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