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Occupational stereotypes: activation of male bias in a gender‐neutral world

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The goal of the present study was to determine whether gender‐neutral language, used to replace male‐biased language, carries an implicit male bias. Participants read passages in which a target occupation was introduced using either male‐biased or gender‐neutral nouns. A target sentence followed defining the gender of the occupational character. In Experiment 1, participants read target sentences defining the character as a woman more slowly following passages that contained male‐biased nouns and gender‐neutral nouns. In Experiment 2, an additional sentence was added that defined the occupational character as a woman. This information eliminated the reading disruption in Experiment 1 demonstrating that gender‐neutral language can moderate against activation of gender stereotypes when combined with an explicit mention that the occupational character is female.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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