Women's Voices: Lost or Mislaid, Stolen or Strayed

Janet Baker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    It is estimated that disorders of voice affect 34 of people from all strata of Australian society and while some voice disorders may be caused by organic conditions, most patients are troubled by non-organic or functional voice disorders (FVD). As professionals dealing with these problems, we wonder about the role of strong negative emotions arising from stressful life experiences preceding onset, or dispositional factors that may influence ways in which an individual responds to such incidents. We wonder too, how these complex processes may be inter-related, and if this may account for one person misusing or damaging the voice, while another loses the voice altogether. Evidence for the possible relationship between negative emotions arising out of stressful events and onset of FVD in women is briefly presented. The findings suggest that women with FVD may have difficulty in the processing of negative emotions, and when considered in a wider socio-cultural perspective, it is proposed that some have temporarily lost their voices, while others have been rendered powerless and had their voices stifled. These findings serve as the foundation for a broader discussion about the possible implications for the speech pathology profession which might be at risk of losing its voice.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)94-106
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


    • Emotions
    • Functional voice disorders
    • Speech-language pathology
    • Voice


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