Sex-role related effects of sex bias in language

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to John Briere or Cheryl Lanktree.

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Briere, J., Lanktree, C. Sex-role related effects of sex bias in language. Sex Roles 9, 625–632 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00290069

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Keywords

  • Social Psychology
  • Related Effect
  • Ethical Standard
  • Recent Effort
  • Female Friend