Oral Advocacy And 'Vocal Fry'

The Unseemly, Sexist Side Of Nonverbal Persuasion

Law360, New York (September 29, 2016, 9:56 PM EDT) -- In a sneak preview of the fall edition of Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD, Professor Michael Higdon of the University of Tennessee College of Law explores the negative reactions to "vocal fry," the accusations of sexism those reactions have engendered, and what all this means for female attorneys.

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Gender stereotypes are not just descriptive, they are prescriptive. It’s not just how women are, it’s how women are supposed to be. And women who behave out of role are punished for it.1

Introduction

Some researchers argue that the affinity of some women to speak in the "vocal fry" register results in...

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