Is Vocal Fry Ruining My Voice
View Post
Learn everything you need to know about vocal fry, the creaky voice phenomenon that's been sweeping the nation. This comprehensive guide covers the science, perception, and uses of vocal fry, and helps you to understand why it's such a hot topic.

Have you ever wondered why your voice sounds like a door creaking open in a haunted house when you're just asking for a cup of coffee or why that radio host sounds like they're gargling gravel? 

Welcome to Explearning Communication where we dive headfirst into the wild, weird, and wonderful world of human interaction. Today, we're peeling back the layers of a vocal phenomenon that's as controversial as it is captivating. Vocal fry. It's been vilified. It's been celebrated. And it's been thoroughly misunderstood.

But what if I told you that everything you thought you knew about vocal fry is wrong? Let's get into it. 

Alright, so let's talk about something you've probably heard of but might not fully understand. Ever heard someone's voice sound like a rusty door hinge?

That's it. Also known by the fancy names, creaky voice, or laryngealized phonation, this voice quality has been lighting up discussions and sparking debates everywhere. Now, I know what you're thinking. Isn't that the thing all young American women are doing with their voices these days?

Hold on a second. Before we jump to conclusions, let's get our facts straight. Yuasa's 2010 study threw a curveball at this popular belief. Turns out, young American women do use vocal fry more than men. But why? It might be about fitting into a certain group, or maybe even trying to sound more sophisticated.

We all have our reasons, right? But let's get to the real meat of the matter. What's the big deal about vocal fry? Why are some people getting their headphones in a twist over it? Anderson and his team in 2014 decided to dig deep. The results? Some folks find vocal fry downright annoying, and it's not just about the sound.

Participants in the study rated those using vocal fry as get this less competent, less educated, and even less trustworthy than those speaking in their regular voices. Ouch. And if you're thinking of using that creaky voice in your next job interview, you might want to reconsider. 

Yuasa's 2010 study dropped another bombshell. Job candidates using VocalFry? They were seen as less confident and less competent. And guess what? They were less likely to get hired. Double ouch. So what's the takeaway here? VocalFry is more than just a voice trend. It's a complex phenomenon with real world implications. Whether you're a fan or not, it's essential to understand the science and perceptions behind it because in the game of communication, knowledge is power.

Gender differences in vocal fry. 

Now, here's a fun fact. Did you know that this creaky voice phenomenon is more common in women than in men? Yep. You heard that, right? But before we jump to any more conclusions, let's unpack it a bit.

There's been a ton of research on this, and the findings are pretty intriguing. Anderson and his crew in 2014 took a deep dive into this, and guess what they found? Women, especially those climbing the corporate ladder or in leadership roles, are more likely to sprinkle their speech with vocal fry.

But why? Why would some women in professional settings opt for this creaky voice more than men? The answer might lie in societal expectations. Think about it. We live in a world where a deeper voice is often linked with authority, power, and credibility.

It's like society's unwritten rule. Deep voice equals more authority. So, it's possible that some women... Consciously or subconsciously, tap into vocal fry to come across as more authoritative or to fit into certain professional molds. 

Imagine you're a woman in a boardroom, surrounded by deep voiced colleagues. You want your ideas to be heard, to be taken seriously. Maybe, just maybe, slipping into that lower register, even if it means a bit of vocal fry, gives you that extra punch to your statements. It's like adding a power suit to your vocal cords. But here's the kicker. It's not just about trying to fit into a man's world or trying to be taken seriously.

It's also about navigating a complex maze of societal norms, expectations, and the subtle nuances of communication. And VocalFry, love it or hate it, has become one of those navigational tools So, the next time you hear someone, especially a woman, using VocalFry, don't be too quick to judge. Instead, think about the why behind it. It's a fascinating glimpse into the interplay between gender, society, and communication.

And as always, it's a reminder that there's often more to the story than meets the ear.

Navigating the sociolinguistic maze of vocal fry. 

All right. Let's get real for a moment. So it turns out that there's been a whole world of factors that influence why and how people use Vocal fry and guess what? It's not just about trying to sound cool or different. There's a science to it. Let's dive in. 

First off, let's talk sociolinguistics. Sounds fancy, right? But it's just a fancy term for understanding how society and language interact. And when it comes to vocal fry, there's a lot going on behind the scenes. Remember that study by Yuasa in 2010? It's a total game changer. The research found that young American women, yes, are more likely to use vocal fry than the guys.

But why? Is it just a trend? Is it a fashion statement of the vocal cords? Not quite. It turns out that our use of language, including vocal fry, is deeply influenced by things like our age, where we come from, and even our social status.

For instance, younger folks might use vocal fry to fit into a particular group or to project a certain image. Maybe it's about sounding sophisticated or mature, or maybe it's just about blending in with their peers. But it's not just about age. Our cultural background also plays a role too. Think about it.

The way you speak, the words you utter, even the tone of voice you use, your voice, it's all shaped by the culture that you grew up in. And vocal fry is no exception. In some cultures it might be a sign of sophistication, in others it might be seen as casual or even lazy. And then there's social class. Yep, even that plays a role.

Maybe in some circles, vocal fry is seen as posh or elite. In others, it might be seen as down to earth or relatable. The bottom line, vocal fry is more than just a voice quirk. It's a reflection of who we are, where we come from, and the society that we live in. It's a linguistic tool shaped by a myriad of sociolinguistic factors.

So, the next time you hear someone use VocalFry, don't just brush it off as a trend, think about the why that's behind it. What's their story? Where are they coming from? And more importantly, what are they trying to convey?

And remember, language is a powerful tool. 

It's a reflection of our identity, our culture, and our place in society. So whether you're a fan of VocalFry or not, embrace it, understand it, and appreciate the rich tapestry of factors that shape it.

As we continue to explore the world of VocalFry, we'll keep challenging our assumptions, keep questioning what we think we know, and keep diving deeper into the fascinating world of human speech and social interaction. 

And as you embark on this journey of understanding and improving your communication and social fluency, remember that Explurning Academy is here to help.

It's not just a place to learn about communication strategies. It's a place to actually practice them in real life, in live video calls with me and other members and get immediate feedback. At Explearning Academy, you can take what you've learned from all of these lessons and put them into action. You can practice using or avoiding vocal fry based on your preference, experiment with different speech patterns, and see how they affect your communication.

But Explearning Academy is more than just a training ground. It's a community of practice, a place where you can interact with people from around the world. You can learn from their experiences, share your own insights, and together we can all become better communicators. 

So as we draw this fascinating exploration of vocal fry to a close, it's important to remember that our voices are more than just a means of communication. They're a reflection of who we are, where we're from, and how we want to be perceived by the world. The creaky, low pitched sound of vocal fry is more than just a speech pattern.

It's a linguistic phenomenon that is influenced by so many factors, from our gender and our age to our social class and cultural background. It's a vocal trend that's been embraced by some, criticized by others, and studied extensively by researchers around the globe. So, the next time you hear the creaky sound of VocalFry, take a moment to listen. You might just learn something new about the speaker, the listener, and the fascinating world of language and communication. And remember, whether you're a VocalFry user or not, your voice is unique, it's a part of who you are.

So embrace it, understand it, and most importantly, let it be heard.

Thanks so much for joining me, Explearners. I'll see you here for another lesson and maybe I'll see you in my community, Explearning Academy. Don't forget to subscribe to the channel. Set the notifications on, ring that bell, and also share this channel with anybody who wants to improve their communication, confidence, social fluency, and executive excellence.

I'll see you in the next one. Bye for now.


  • Anderson, R. C., Klofstad, C. A., Mayew, W. J., & Venkatachalam, M. (2014). Vocal Fry May Undermine the Success of Young Women in the Labor Market. PLoS ONE.
  • Dejonckere, P. H., Bradley, P., Clemente, P., Cornut, G., Crevier-Buchman, L., Friedrich, G., Van De Heyning, P., Remacle, M., & Woisard, V. (2001). A basic protocol for functional assessment of voice pathology, especially for investigating the efficacy of (phonosurgical) treatments and evaluating new assessment techniques. European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, 258(2), 77–82.
  • Eckert, P. (2008). Variation and the indexical field. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 12(4), 453–476.
  • Gaskill, C. S., Cowgill, J. G., & Hecker, M. H. (1986). Vocal fatigue in instructors of aerobics classes. Journal of Voice, 1(1), 70–74.
  • Hunter, E. J., & Banks, R. E. (2023). Vocal Fatigue and Its Relation to Vocal Hyperfunction. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.
  • Kong, E. J., Kang, Y., & Seong, C. (2023). Gender-differentiated realization of Seoul Korean sibilants. Phonetics and Speech Sciences.
  • Leongomez, J. D., Binter, J., Kubicova, L., Stolarova, P., Klapilova, K., Havlicek, J., & Roberts, S. C. (2014). Vocal modulation during courtship increases proceptivity even in naive listeners. Evolution and Human Behavior, 35(6), 489–496.
  • Warlaumont, A. S., Richards, J. A., Gilkerson, J., & Oller, D. K. (2014). A social feedback loop for speech development and its reduction in autism. Psychological Science, 25(7), 1314–1324.
  • Wolk, L., Abdelli-Beruh, N. B., & Slavin, D. (2012). Habitual use of vocal fry in young adult female speakers. Journal of Voice, 26(3), e111–e116.
  • Yuasa, I. P. (2010). Creaky voice: A new feminine voice quality for young urban-oriented upwardly mobile American women? American Speech, 85(3), 315–337.

About the Author and the Explearning Academy:

Mary Daphne is an expert in communication, executive interpersonal skills, and personal development. She is the founder of the Explearning Academy, a platform dedicated to helping individuals enhance their social fluency, boost their careers, and elevate their social game. Through immersive group coaching programs like the Executive Communication Lab and self-guided journeys, participants gain the social superpowers and career catapults they've been searching for. If you're ready to take your negotiation skills to the next level and connect with like-minded individuals, visit and explore the various plans available. Join the Explearning Academy community and unlock your full potential.

Thank you for reading! If you found this blog post valuable, don't forget subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow our podcast!

🎤 Sign up for my group coaching program🎤
🤩 Join our community 🤩 for a self-guided fully-supported journey
Learn more about Explearning Academy
🏆 Sign up for our 33-Day Executive Excellence Challenge 🏆

View More Posts