Feminism | Posted by Talia on 02/10/2012

Thoughts On Gender-Neutral Speech

As I was doing my AP Psychology homework about the psychology of language recently, I came across some interesting studies about the effect of using gender-neutral speech.

Janet Hyde, a professor of psychology and women’s studies at University of Wisconsin – Madison, conducted a study in 1984 where she asked children to finish stories for which she gave them a first line, like “When a kid goes to school, ___ often feels excited on the first day.” When Dr. Hyde used the word he in the blank, almost all of the kids’ stories were about boys. When she used he or she, about a third of the stories were about girls. This effect is not only present in children, but has also been seen in similar studies with adolescents and …

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