A Weird Quirk Of Speech May Help (Or Hurt) Women

A new study has just come out arguing that a speaking tic known as "vocal fry" may harm women's employment prospects, but different studies suggest otherwise.

You might not be familiar with the term "vocal fry," but you'll probably recognize it when you hear it. It's a strange, low-pitched creaking that slips into the speech of up to two-thirds of female college students (as well as a few men). The tic, which has only emerged in the last few decades, is also often used by prominent young female celebrities like the Kardashians.

A recent study conducted by the University of Miami and Duke University shows that anyone, but especially women, who speaks with the fry were found to be less appealing as job candidates than those who spoke in a more conventional way. But earlier research points the other way: vocal fry-ers were more likely to be perceived as upwardly mobile and well-educated. So, fry: friend or foe? Give a look (and a listen) at the video and decide for yourself.

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