Acceptability of Sexist Language among Young People in Hong Kong

Acceptability of Sexist Language among Young People in Hong Kong The purpose of the present study was to provide information on the acceptability of some selected gender-exclusive and inclusive usages and lexis in Hong Kong English. They include the selection of generic he or gender-neutral pronouns anaphoric to indefinite pronouns (e.g., everybody, someone) and occupational terms (e.g., doctor, lawyer, cleaner). A number of generic nouns and sex-unspecified nouns with or without morphologically marked gender were also examined (e.g., chairman vs chairperson, fireman vs fire fighter). The findings reveal that linguistic sexism is still prevalent in Hong Kong. However, the strong feminist movement in Western countries and in the education field has had an impact among young people, some of whom have shown concern to avoid gender-biased language. Although consistent gender differences were not found in the present study, some significant differences between men and women were revealed; a relatively higher proportion of women opted for the coordinate pronoun he/she and gender-neutral occupational terms, whereas more men opted for generic they. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Acceptability of Sexist Language among Young People in Hong Kong

Sex Roles , Volume 56 (6) – Feb 16, 2007
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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 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/s11199-006-9170-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to provide information on the acceptability of some selected gender-exclusive and inclusive usages and lexis in Hong Kong English. They include the selection of generic he or gender-neutral pronouns anaphoric to indefinite pronouns (e.g., everybody, someone) and occupational terms (e.g., doctor, lawyer, cleaner). A number of generic nouns and sex-unspecified nouns with or without morphologically marked gender were also examined (e.g., chairman vs chairperson, fireman vs fire fighter). The findings reveal that linguistic sexism is still prevalent in Hong Kong. However, the strong feminist movement in Western countries and in the education field has had an impact among young people, some of whom have shown concern to avoid gender-biased language. Although consistent gender differences were not found in the present study, some significant differences between men and women were revealed; a relatively higher proportion of women opted for the coordinate pronoun he/she and gender-neutral occupational terms, whereas more men opted for generic they.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 16, 2007

References

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