Gender Disparities in Speech-evoked Auditory Brainstem Response in Healthy Adults: Any Relation to Head Size?

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Gender disparities in speech-evoked auditory brainstem response (speech-ABR) outcomes have been reported, but the literature is limited. The present study was performed to further verify this issue and determine the influence of head size on speech-ABR results between genders.


Twenty-nine healthy Malaysian subjects (14 males and 15 females) aged 19 to 30 years participated in this study. After measuring the head circumference, speech-ABR was recorded by using synthesized syllable /da/ from the right ear of each participant. Speech-ABR peaks amplitudes, peaks latencies, and composite onset measures were computed and analyzed.


Significant gender disparities were noted in the transient component but not in the sustained component of speech-ABR. Statistically higher V/A amplitudes and less steeper V/A slopes were found in females. These gender differences were partially affected after controlling for the head size.


Head size is not the main contributing factor for gender disparities in speech-ABR outcomes. Gender-specific normative data can be useful when recording speech-ABR for clinical purposes.

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