Online Supplement to a published article: Sex differences in the Test of Basic Auditory Capabilities




McFadden, Dennis
Pasanen, Edward G.
Kidd, Gary R.
Watson, Charles S.
Gygi, Brian

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Journal of the Acoustical Society of America


In a previously published study, performance was measured for 19 auditory discrimination and identification tasks for 338 normal-hearing subjects. No examination of possible sex differences was reported. That dataset was re-analyzed for sex differences; a brief account of the results was published (McFadden et al., 2023**), and full results are reported here. An effect size for sex difference was calculated for each subtest, and a resampling technique was used to estimate an implied significance for each of those effect sizes. Two of the 19 auditory tasks did exhibit significant sex differences, and five more were marginally significant, but all the effect sizes were small (<0.32). The largest sex difference was for an unusual task requiring the subject to detect the presence/absence of a brief tone in the middle of a sequence of nine brief tones of random frequency. The second largest sex difference was for a traditional frequency-discrimination task, replicating a previous finding. Because all sex differences observed were small, they are of interest primarily to basic science, not clinical practice. The emerging picture is that the marked sex differences seen in peripheral physiological measures do not propagate simply through the auditory chain into psychoacoustical differences. Possible race/ethnic differences were examined but because only 10% of the subjects self-identified as Non-White, those results are only suggestive.



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