Con temporary Argu ments Again st Nonsexist
Lan guage: Blaubergs (1980) Revisited
Jan et B. Parks
an d Mar y Ann Rober ton
Bowling G reen State University
Two studies investigated whether undergraduates enrolled in sport managemen t
classes at a midwestern university supported or resisted nonsexist lan guage.
Resistive statemen ts were classified using argum ents iden tified by Blaubergs
(1980). In Stu dy 1, 82 primarily Caucasian students reacted to a videotape
abou t lan gu age. Half (48% ) supported n on sexist la n gu age; 32% were
am bivalent; 21% were opposed to nonsexist lan guage. The negative comm ents
fit 7 of Blaubergs
8 categories after 2 were m odified; 2 additional categories
(Sexism is Acceptable an d Hostility toward Propon ents of Change) em erged.
In Study 2, 164 prim arily Caucasian undergraduates specu lated on why others
resisted nonsexist lan guage. Their com ments led to the addition of 2 m ore new
categories: Tradition and Lack of Understanding. The final modification of
classic argum ents contains 12 categories that shou ld be useful in
studying resistance to nonsexist lan guage.
The Sapir-Whorf Hypothe sis of Linguistic Relativity (Carroll, 1956) posits
an affinity betwe en the language of a give n culture and its behavioral
norms. Rathe r than sugge sting that language directly causes particular be-
Sex Roles, Vol. 39, No s. 5/6, 1998
1998 Plenum Publishing Corporation
These studies were supporte d by the Fund fo r the Study of Sport and Diversity, Sch ool of
HMSLS, Bowling Gre en State University. We are grateful to Dolores A. Black, Bowling
Gre en State University, and Harold Rie mer, curre ntly at the University of Te xas at Austin,
for th eir assistance with data collection.
Portions of this paper were presente d at the conference
Transcendin g Boundaries . . . The
New Agenda in Sport,
s Institute on Sport and Education, Baltimore, MD
(September 1995); the confere nce
The Everyday Art and Act of Teaching,
Unive rsity of
Wisconsin, Madison, WI (October 1995) ; and the annual conference of the Mid west
Association for College and Un iversity Physical E ducation, Angola, IN (October 1996) .
To whom correspondence should be addre ssed at School of Human Movement, Sport, and
Leisure Studies, 112 Epple r Center, Bowling Gree n State University, Bowling Green, O H
43403-0248; email: jparks@ bgnet.bgsu.edu