Sexist language in occupational information: Does it make a difference?
ABSTRACT While several guidelines for avoiding sexist language in career materials have been published, little empirical evidence exists to support the assumption that sexist language in career information has deleterious effects on clients. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of sex-biased language in occupational information on subject interest and attitudes regarding gender appropriateness of occupations. Eighth-grade students read occupational briefs on two occupations presented in either neutral, female-biased, or male-biased language. Results showed a nonsignificant language effect and a significant sex difference in interest in the occupations. A significant three-way interaction (language by subject sex by occupation) was found for gender-appropriateness ratings. The findings, together with previous research, suggest that language may have little impact on specific occupational interests, but may affect other career attitudes related to interests.
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Article: Talking about career
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ABSTRACT: This article reviews the literature related to vocational behavior and career development published during 1983. Journals in the fields of psychology, sociology, and organizational behavior were examined, and 445 relevant articles published in 42 different journals were identified. The review is organized around issues pertinent to the counseling psychology perspective (i.e., career development, vocational choice, vocational behavior of women, assessment, intervention strategies) and the industrial/organizational psychology perspective (i.e., personnel functions, worker adjustment problems, work adjustment) on vocational behavior.Journal of Vocational Behavior 10/1984; 25(2):139–190. DOI:10.1016/0001-8791(84)90042-3 · 2.03 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Women's historical lack of prominence in Western culture has been the subject of much research and debate in recent years. One area of partiuclar concern has been language: the grammatical prescription of masculine words as generic to describe both men and women. In the service of equality between the sexes, it is crucial to demonstrate that “generic” masculine words are indeed interpreted as generic (equally inclusive of women and men) by language users. The research reported here manipulated gender neutrality of language descriptors to determine whether generic masculine nouns, pronouns, and possessive pronominal adjectives function more similarly to gender specific terms or neuter terms. The relative masculinity of responses to these terms was assessed within three different tasks (draw a picture, read an essay, and provide example names). In addition, the relative masculinity/femininity of 10 terms with various intended gender references was empirically assessed. Participants rated each of them using 14 adjectives taken from the Bern Sex Role Inventory. Results support and extend previous research by showing (1) that “generic” masculine nouns, pronouns, and adjectives function similarly to gender specific masculine terms and (2) that certain grammatically “neutral” terms are in fact rated as relatively masculine. This evidence demonstrates that the use of “generic” masculine and even other grammatically neutral terms in effect serves to exclude women from the English language. The resulting masculine bias in our language reflects and reinforces the pattern of male dominance in society.Journal of Applied Social Psychology 10/1986; 16(7). DOI:10.1111/j.1559-1816.1986.tb01165.x · 0.83 Impact Factor