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Warm-hearted businessmen, competitive housewives? Effects of gender-fair language on adolescents' perceptions of occupations.

Vervecken D, Gygax PM, Gabriel U, Guillod M, Hannover B - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: In a sample of 222 adolescents (aged 12-17) from French speaking Switzerland, we found that pair forms attenuated the difference in the ascription of success to male and female jobholders in gendered occupations and attenuated the differential ascription of warmth to prototypical jobholders in male vs. female dominated jobs.However, no effect of language form on the ascription of competence was found.These findings suggest that language policies are an effective tool to impact gendered perceptions, however, they also hint at competence-related gender stereotypes being in decline.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Karel de Grote University College, Antwerp Belgium.

ABSTRACT
Recent studies from countries with grammatical gender languages (e.g., French) found both children and adults to more frequently think of female jobholders and to consider women's success in male dominated occupations more likely when the jobs were described in pair forms (i.e., by explicit reference to male and female jobholders, e.g., inventeuses et inventeurs; French feminine and masculine plural forms for inventors), rather than masculine only forms (e.g., inventors). To gain a better understanding of this phenomenon, we systematically varied the gender connotation of occupations (males overrepresented, females overrepresented, equal share of males and females) and measured additional dependent variables, predicting that gender fair language would reduce the impact of the gender connotation on participants' perceptions. In a sample of 222 adolescents (aged 12-17) from French speaking Switzerland, we found that pair forms attenuated the difference in the ascription of success to male and female jobholders in gendered occupations and attenuated the differential ascription of warmth to prototypical jobholders in male vs. female dominated jobs. However, no effect of language form on the ascription of competence was found. These findings suggest that language policies are an effective tool to impact gendered perceptions, however, they also hint at competence-related gender stereotypes being in decline.

No MeSH data available.


Mean perceptions of success for men and women in occupations with different gender distributions (scale from 1 = only men to 5 = only women).
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Figure 1: Mean perceptions of success for men and women in occupations with different gender distributions (scale from 1 = only men to 5 = only women).

Mentions: In summary, as expected, adolescents of all ages and regardless of their gender, perceived success in gendered occupations to be more equally shared by women and men when the job had been described to them in a pair form rather than in the masculine form only (see Figure 1).


Warm-hearted businessmen, competitive housewives? Effects of gender-fair language on adolescents' perceptions of occupations.

Vervecken D, Gygax PM, Gabriel U, Guillod M, Hannover B - Front Psychol (2015)

Mean perceptions of success for men and women in occupations with different gender distributions (scale from 1 = only men to 5 = only women).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4585286&req=5

Figure 1: Mean perceptions of success for men and women in occupations with different gender distributions (scale from 1 = only men to 5 = only women).
Mentions: In summary, as expected, adolescents of all ages and regardless of their gender, perceived success in gendered occupations to be more equally shared by women and men when the job had been described to them in a pair form rather than in the masculine form only (see Figure 1).

Bottom Line: In a sample of 222 adolescents (aged 12-17) from French speaking Switzerland, we found that pair forms attenuated the difference in the ascription of success to male and female jobholders in gendered occupations and attenuated the differential ascription of warmth to prototypical jobholders in male vs. female dominated jobs.However, no effect of language form on the ascription of competence was found.These findings suggest that language policies are an effective tool to impact gendered perceptions, however, they also hint at competence-related gender stereotypes being in decline.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Karel de Grote University College, Antwerp Belgium.

ABSTRACT
Recent studies from countries with grammatical gender languages (e.g., French) found both children and adults to more frequently think of female jobholders and to consider women's success in male dominated occupations more likely when the jobs were described in pair forms (i.e., by explicit reference to male and female jobholders, e.g., inventeuses et inventeurs; French feminine and masculine plural forms for inventors), rather than masculine only forms (e.g., inventors). To gain a better understanding of this phenomenon, we systematically varied the gender connotation of occupations (males overrepresented, females overrepresented, equal share of males and females) and measured additional dependent variables, predicting that gender fair language would reduce the impact of the gender connotation on participants' perceptions. In a sample of 222 adolescents (aged 12-17) from French speaking Switzerland, we found that pair forms attenuated the difference in the ascription of success to male and female jobholders in gendered occupations and attenuated the differential ascription of warmth to prototypical jobholders in male vs. female dominated jobs. However, no effect of language form on the ascription of competence was found. These findings suggest that language policies are an effective tool to impact gendered perceptions, however, they also hint at competence-related gender stereotypes being in decline.

No MeSH data available.