Predicting gender-inclusive language use

Moser, Franziska; Sczesny, Sabine; Wood, Wendy (22 September 2016). Predicting gender-inclusive language use (Unpublished). In: 50. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie (DGPs). Leipzig, Germany. 18.-22.09.2016.

Gender-inclusive language aims at reducing discrimination and exclusion of women by replacing masculine forms, such as policeman with gender-inclusive forms such as police officer, the student, he or she. The use of sexist language was found to be related to gender-role identity, sexist beliefs and attitudes. However, it is still unclear whether people act on these beliefs when using sexist language or whether these are more implicit, habitual patterns. In two studies with German-speaking participants we measured whether people deliberately or habitually act on their beliefs about gender so as to use or not use gender-inclusive language. By using a fill-in-the-blanks task we measured the use of gender-inclusive language. Study 1 included attitudes towards gender-inclusive language, norms, perceived behavioral control and intention as deliberate and frequency of past behavior and experienced automaticity as habitual predictors, and Study 2 additionally measured sexist beliefs. Study 1 showed that explicitly favorable intentions and habitual processes involving past use guide the spontaneous use of gender-inclusive forms. Study 2 revealed that language-use intentions are embedded in explicit sexist ideologies. Participants who used sexist language in the past may rely on whatever is the standard form without considering the possibility of alternative language forms and their implications for social change. Other participants used or failed to use gender-inclusive language more deliberately. They act on their intentions along with their attitudes. Secondly, participants who endorse sexist beliefs failed to use gender-inclusive forms because of their negative attitudes toward using it along with their intentions not to use it. These participants might deliberately avoid using gender-inclusive language because it as a kind of political correctness which they do not support, or they might claim it as unnecessary because masculine generics equally include women and men.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Moser, Franziska and Sczesny, Sabine


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Franziska Moser

Date Deposited:

29 Aug 2016 10:07

Last Modified:

29 Aug 2016 10:07


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