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Can Gender-Fair Language Reduce Gender Stereotyping and Discrimination?

13.08.2019 / Created by (EMWF)

Gender-fair language (GFL) aims at reducing gender stereotyping and discrimination. Two principle strategies have been employed to make languages gender-fair and to treat women and men symmetrically: neutralization and feminization. Neutralization is achieved, for example, by replacing male-masculine forms (policeman) with genderunmarked forms (police officer), whereas feminization relies on the use of feminine forms to make female referents visible (i.e., the applicant... he or she instead of the applicant... he). By integrating research on (1) language structures, (2) language policies, and (3) individual language behavior, this article provides a critical review of how GFL contributes to the reduction of gender stereotyping and discrimination. This review provides a basis for future research and for scientifically based policy-making.


  • Type of publication : Article
  • Author : Sabine Sczesny, Magda Formanowicz and Franziska Moser
  • Publishing house : Frontiers in Psychology Journal
  • Publication date : 2016
  • Number of pages : 11
  • Language : English


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