Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10267/13666
Title: An Examination of the Implicit Comprehension of Gender-Biased Language
Authors: Godfrey, Mary E.
Keywords: Psychology Department;Honors papers;Godfrey, Mary E.
Issue Date: 23-May-2012
Publisher: Memphis, Tenn. : Rhodes College
Abstract: This research investigated individual’s comprehension of gender-biased language by examining implicit (i.e., automatic) associations of generic masculine (GM) terms (e.g., chairman) and their neutral counterparts (e.g., chairperson). Individuals have been taught that GM terms imply inclusion of males and females, yet past research has shown that we do not comprehend these terms as truly inclusive. An implicit priming procedure assessed the activation of masculine and feminine interpretations of GM terms. Female participants listened to sentences containing “prime” terms with a neutral suffix (e.g., –person) or a GM suffix (e.g., –man) that were spoken by either a male or female voice. Following presentation of the prime, participants made a lexical decision response to a male, female, or place target name by pressing the “Yes” key if the target is a real name by pressing the “No” key if the target is not a real name. Target names were presented immediately after the prime (Experiment 1) or 500 ms after (Experiment 2). When the male spoke GM terms, a trend suggested the immediate activation of male associations compared to the presentation of the neutral terms which activated female associations. In contrast, the female speaker neutralized the associations, resulting in immediate male and female activations for the GM and neutral terms. However, 500 ms after the prime, the speaker’s gender became less influential, as seen through the activation of both male and female associations to GM and neutral terms. This research reveals how subtle linguistic markers, such as suffixes, can create implicit gender associations.
Description: The author granted permission for the digitization of this paper. It was submitted by CD.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10267/13666
Appears in Collections:Psychology Department. Honors Papers

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