Gender-fair Language Changes the Social Perception of Professional Groups: The Case of German and Italian.

Merkel, Elisa; Horvath, Lisa Kristina; Sczesny, Sabine; Maass, Anne (14 June 2013). Gender-fair Language Changes the Social Perception of Professional Groups: The Case of German and Italian. (Unpublished). In: Final Conference of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network Language, Cognition, and Gender (ITN LCG). Bern, Schweiz. 13.06.-17.06.2013.

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Gender-fair language, including women and men, such as word pairs has a substantial impact on the mental representation, as a large body of studies have shown. When using exclusively the masculine form as a generic, women are mentally significantly less represented than men. Word pairs, however, lead to a higher cognitive inclusion of women. Surprisingly little research has been conducted to understand how the perception of professional groups is affected by gender-fair language. Providing evidence from an Italian-Austrian cross-cultural study with over 400 participants, we argue that gender-fair language impacts the perception of professional groups, in terms of perceived gender-typicality, number of women and men assumed for a profession, social status and average income. Results hint at a pervasive pay-off: on the one hand, gender-fair language seems to boost the mental representations in favor of women and professions are perceived as being rather gender-neutral. On the other hand professional groups are assigned lower salary and social status with word pairs. Implications of results are discussed.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Social Psychology and Social Neuroscience

UniBE Contributor:

Horvath, Lisa Kristina and Sczesny, Sabine

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology

Language:

English

Submitter:

Irène Gonce-Gyr

Date Deposited:

20 Nov 2014 09:50

Last Modified:

20 Nov 2014 09:50

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/46172

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