Sex Roles

, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 625–632 | Cite as

Sex-role related effects of sex bias in language

  • John Briere
  • Cheryl Lanktree


Despite recent efforts to eliminate sexist language from journal and other publications, controversy persists over whether sexist language contributes to the perpetuation of sex bias. Seventy-two female and 57 male undergraduates were exposed to three levels of sexist noun and pronoun usage in a description of “Ethical Standards of Psychologists.” All subjects then rated the attractiveness of a career in psychology for males and females, and their own willingness to refer a male or female friend to a psychologist. In several instances, ratings of career attractiveness and willingness to refer were found to vary in sex-role stereotypic directions as a function of degree of exposure to sexist language. Recent demands for nonsexist language may be supportable on the basis of a genuine relationship between sexist language and the maintenance of sex-biased perceptions.


Social Psychology Related Effect Ethical Standard Recent Effort Female Friend 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Briere
    • 1
  • Cheryl Lanktree
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychologythe University of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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