A New Look at Gender Inequality in Chinese: A Study of Chinese Speakers’ Perception of Gender-Based Characters

A New Look at Gender Inequality in Chinese: A Study of Chinese Speakers’ Perception of... It has been claimed that Chinese characters containing a woman radical (e.g., 姦jian1 ‘adultery’) tend to reflect negatively on women. We investigated this claim by asking Taiwan college students (24 men and 19 women) to rate the valence (1, 0, or -1) of 323 gender-based characters and their dictionary definitions. For men and women alike, characters with the son radical (k = 22) were rated more positively than characters with the woman radical (k = 103), although the latter also received a positive rating. Characters with the human radical (k = 198) were neutral. We conclude that gender inequality does not find itself in the gender-based characters. Whether it may be observed in other linguistic expressions of Chinese needs to be addressed with care. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

A New Look at Gender Inequality in Chinese: A Study of Chinese Speakers’ Perception of Gender-Based Characters

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-009-9639-z
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

It has been claimed that Chinese characters containing a woman radical (e.g., 姦jian1 ‘adultery’) tend to reflect negatively on women. We investigated this claim by asking Taiwan college students (24 men and 19 women) to rate the valence (1, 0, or -1) of 323 gender-based characters and their dictionary definitions. For men and women alike, characters with the son radical (k = 22) were rated more positively than characters with the woman radical (k = 103), although the latter also received a positive rating. Characters with the human radical (k = 198) were neutral. We conclude that gender inequality does not find itself in the gender-based characters. Whether it may be observed in other linguistic expressions of Chinese needs to be addressed with care.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: May 9, 2009

References

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