This is the first empirical study to examine the complicated relationship between voice and masculinity for young male singers.It has long been known that singing is perceived as an 'uncool' activity by many boys, a source of angst for those concerned with development of music and the equal participation of the two genders. Boys' attitudes toward singing disadvantage them significantly. The 'uncool' image relates to the frequent confusion of the unchanged, high voice of young males with that of the female high voice and it is commonly imagined that boys' antipathy is towards 'sounding like a girl.'The study has looked simultaneously at the core fields of masculinity and singing and concludes that this is an over-simplification. It is also necessary to take into account differences between the boy child and the older boy who begins to undergo voice change from about the age of ten. Whilst drawing on the literature of both disciplines, it is primarily an empirical study that has obtained the views of young performers about their audiences, and the views of young audiences about the performers.
These confirm the imperative of creating singing opportunities for the 10-14 age group that permit an authentic construction of boyhood that is distinct from children's singing.