Behavior Research Methods

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 206-212

First online:

Au pairs are rarely male: Norms on the gender perception of role names across English, French, and German

  • Ute GabrielAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology Email author 
  • , Pascal GygaxAffiliated withUniversity of Fribourg
  • , Oriane SarrasinAffiliated withUniversity of Bern
  • , Alan GarnhamAffiliated withUniversity of Sussex
  • , Jane OakhillAffiliated withUniversity of Sussex


A list of role names for future use in research on gender stereotyping was created and evaluated. In two studies, 126 role names were rated with reference to their gender stereotypicality by English-, French-, and German-speaking students of universities in Switzerland (French and German) and in the U.K. (English). Role names were either presented in specific feminine and masculine forms (Study 1) or in the masculine form (generic masculine) only (Study 2). The rankings of the stereotypicality ratings were highly reliable across languages and questionnaire versions, but the overall mean of the ratings was less strongly male if participants were also presented with the female versions of the role names and if the latter were presented on the left side of the questionnaires.