Sex Roles

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 349–354

You say potato and I say potahto: Attitudes toward feminism as a function of its subject-selected label

  • Marsha B. Jacobson

DOI: 10.1007/BF00288063

Cite this article as:
Jacobson, M.B. Sex Roles (1981) 7: 349. doi:10.1007/BF00288063


Male and female subjects were given an unlabeled definition of feminism, asked which of four labels they were most likely to use in reference to it, and asked to rate the defined concept on a variety of evaluative dimensions. The four labels were: equal rights for women (ERW), feminism (FEM), women's liberation (WLN), and women's lib (WLB). With the exception of ERW, which remained unchanged, the labels were evaluated differently than they had been in a previous study, in which subjects were assigned one of the four labels at random and asked to rate it. Specifically, it was found that when the labels are self-selected, FEM and WLN are rated more positively and WLB is rated more negatively, than when the labels are randomly assigned. Further, it was found that the various labels are not used with equal frequency, ERW and WLB being more commonly used than FEM and WLN.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marsha B. Jacobson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of DaytonDayton

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