Obsessed with Men? Gender-Inclusive Language is the Answer

Maddy Doane

Within discourse, the observation of male implicit bias is prevalent and is often caused by words that reflect and refer to generic masculine associations. The question at hand is, does the adoption of gender-inclusive language reduce male bias and therefore, increase women’s involvement in mental associations? In two experiments, I analyze interactions between groups of people either involving gender-neutral words, or not. Afterwards, all people are asked to take an implicit bias test to see if the gender-inclusive language has an effect, if any. The participants are comprised of men and women attending UCLA, all of which are comfortable conversing with each other. In observing conversation, the use of gender-inclusive words reduces the amount of automatic male associations in the subsequent implicit bias test. Thus, explaining the importance of avoiding gender-fair words as well as including gender-inclusive language in everyday conversation. The goal of this study is to inform and educate participants and readers about the effects of adopting gender-inclusive language into common vocabulary.

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