Is the Gender-Neutral Spanish Movement Gaining Steam? We surveyed 122 individuals to find out what they think.

Jakob Franco, Juan Salcedo, Krystal Quinto, T. Singh

Our research group entered this project seeking to gain clarity on the continued reception of a controversial topic within modern Spanish, the use of gender-neutral suffixes for some traditionally gendered nouns and pronouns. Perhaps most famously within the United States, the term “Latinx” has become a cultural lightning rod in relation to ongoing debates about the progression of social activism (Higa & Dunham, 2022). However, the Spanish language community is far from a monolith, with grassroots movements in multiple Latin-American countries seeking to make the grammatical change as well (Lankes, 2022). We began our research then seeking to assess the rates of use for these terms, particularly in informal settings, as well as to directly gauge opinions on the subject through a variety of survey methods. Ultimately, we also wanted to assess trends within the backgrounds of those who did or did not use these terms to see if these rates correlated with sociodemographic data or opinions on other social issues. Our data provided a nuanced picture that both confirmed many of our predictions about the backgrounds of our research participants, especially in regard to age and political affiliation, but confounded others. The data bore out a fairly strong consensus against adopting the gender-neutral suffixes.

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