Promoting gender-fair language: The impact of arguments on language use, attitudes, and cognitions

Koeser, Sarah; Sczesny, Sabine (2014). Promoting gender-fair language: The impact of arguments on language use, attitudes, and cognitions. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 33(5), pp. 548-560. Sage Publications 10.1177/0261927X14541280

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The present research investigates whether arguments encourage speakers to use and to approve of gender-fair language. We collected and pretested arguments regarding gender-fair language and masculine generics and created four messages which supported either gender-fair usage or masculine generics (strong and weak arguments) as well as two control texts. Results showed that speakers changed their language behavior more in the direction of gender-fairness when they had been exposed to arguments for gender-fair language than after control texts. We did not find any effect of arguments promoting masculine generics and no effect on cognitive responses and attitudes. Taken together, these results show that arguments promoting gender-fair language can motivate speakers to use gender-fair wording, a new and important finding in the context of implementing gender equality in language.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Sczesny, Sabine


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Sage Publications




Irène Gonce-Gyr

Date Deposited:

25 Mar 2015 09:55

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:44

Publisher DOI:





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