Estimating the Prevalence of Gender-Biased Language in Undergraduates’ Everyday Speech
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Psychol
Language & languages
Sexism in language
MetadataShow full item record
CitationMacArthur, H.J., Cundiff, J.L. & Mehl, M.R. Estimating the Prevalence of Gender-Biased Language in Undergraduates’ Everyday Speech. Sex Roles 82, 81–93 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-019-01033-z
Rights© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
AbstractResearch has shown that language can be gender-biased; however, little research has investigated the prevalence of this bias in everyday speech. Using recordings sampled from undergraduates' daily conversations, we investigated two forms of gender bias: paternalism through use of the infantilizing label girl to refer to women and androcentrism through a tendency to use more masculine (e.g., man, guy) than feminine (e.g., girl, woman) labels in everyday speech. U.S. participants (n = 175) wore the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR), a device that recorded sound samples from their environments for 30 s every 12.5 min, for up to 4 days. Verbatim transcripts were then analyzed for instances of commonly used labels for females and males (e.g., girl, woman, boy, man). Results indicated that the label girl surpassed all other labels for women, as well as boy labels for men. We also found evidence of a masculine-label bias: Participants used masculine labels more frequently than feminine labels overall. These findings indicate the need for future research to investigate the potential consequences of infantilizing and androcentric language as well as the need for teachers, professors, clinicians, and practitioners of all types to be mindful of how their speech may include, exclude, or infantilize people based on gender.
Note12 month embargo; published online: 21 March 2019
VersionFinal accepted manuscript
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
THE EFFECT OF COMMUNICATOR GENDER, NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION STYLE, AND RESPONDENT GENDER ON MANAGERS' TASK AND SOCIAL ATTRACTIVENESS (WORKING WOMEN).Olney, Cynthia Ann. (The University of Arizona., 1985)
Gender and discourse: Adolescent girls construct gender through talk and textGoodman, Kenneth S.; Blair, Heather Alice, 1952- (The University of Arizona., 1996)The initial purpose of this study was to better understand issues of gender in classrooms in relation to language and literacy. In particular, this research was designed to examine the construction of gender in the talk and text of adolescent girls in one Canadian urban grade eight classroom. This research was based on the theoretical premise that gender is a social construct, talk is a social construct, and text is a social construct. In order to demonstrate the social construction of gender with middle school girls, this analysis was framed within the larger Canadian society. This linguistically informed ethnographic research included classroom observations, interviews with students and teachers, analysis of tape recorded classroom talk, and an examination of classroom written texts. The data from these observations, interviews of students, and oral and written texts were analyzed for themes. The following themes emerged from the data: classroom talk and text are gendered, youths construct their gender identity through talk and text, the "genderlects" and "genderprints" reflect the lives of these youths in a modern world. Conflict, toughness, violence, friendships, relationships, and modernity were salient constructs in the social construction of gender for these youth. These micro social processes contributed to the macro social process or gendered relations in Canadian society. The findings from this study suggest implications for schools. The main implication is that the gendering of discourse in schools is important and that gender identity is linked to both talk and text. Classroom teachers need to develop an awareness and understanding of what and how gender implicates all classroom interactions and that the social phenomena of classroom interactions are important to the success of girls in middle schools. Another contribution of this study is that it contributes to the growing body of knowledge on gender and language at a time when gender equity is emerging as central to the educational success of girls yet is seldom the focus of examination of educational research.
Gender and command: A Sociophonetic Analysis of Female and Male Drill Instructors in the United States Marine CorpsArchangeli, Diana B.; Warner, Natasha; Kennard, Catherine Hicks; Archangeli, Diana B.; Warner, Natasha; Demers, Richard; Jones, Kimberly A.; Story, Brad (The University of Arizona., 2006)This dissertation presents the results of a study conducted on the speech of male and female students training to become Drill Instructors (hereafter DIs) in the United States Marine Corps. Both high amplitude and low pitch are reported to be important characteristics of the DI Command Voice; these characteristics are also strongly associated with masculinity (Hicks 1997). However, previous research argues that female DIs do not view these qualities as the most important characteristics of the Command Voice. They focus instead on being "direct" (Hicks 1997, Hicks Kennard 1999). The question I address is whether or not the Command Voice taught in DI School is used differently by female and male DI students in authoritative speech.The data were recorded at the DI School in Parris Island, South Carolina. Six subjects participated in the study. The two factors considered were sex and speech style, which included: 1) teachback: high-amplitude recitations of training procedures, 2) locker-box discussion: a speech style used in academic settings, 3) interviews, and 4) a reading sample. Both vowel duration and peak pitch measurements were done in each speech style; measurements on larger thirty-second "chunks" of discourse were taken for mean pitch, standard deviation of pitch, range of pitch, and speaking rate for each speaker in each speech style. There was a significant main effect on vowel duration for all subjects except for one male and a significant main effect on peak pitch for all subjects. For discourse measurements of pitch, there was a significant main effect for mean pitch, standard deviation of pitch, and pitch range.Pair-wise comparisons resulted in significant differences in peak pitch for all subjects in all speech styles. Both females and males exhibited the same pattern for both vowel and discourse pitch measurements, from highest to lowest pitch: teachbacks, lockerbox discussion, reading sample, and interview. However, females' vowels were significantly longer in the most authoritative speech style--precisely where males had their shortest vowel duration. This difference suggests that in authoritative speech, females use vowel duration as part of the "directness" in authority, where males do not.