Who Counts as Human? Antecedents to Androcentric Behavior

Who Counts as Human? Antecedents to Androcentric Behavior People view men as typically human, although some conditions may make this more or less likely. Language has been implicated as one factor, with masculine generic language (e.g., he used neutrally) leading to more androcentrism relative to its alternatives. However, the influence of two types of alternatives (e.g., they vs. he or she) remains unclear. The present study asked 297 male and female online participants from the United States to select typical representations of humanity from a set of White and Black male and female faces. The wording for the concept humanity was manipulated to be either a typical member of mankind, a typical human, or a typical man or woman (or woman or man). Overall, participants selected more White targets. Participants also selected more male targets, but the degree to which that was the case was affected by wording and participant’s gender. Participants, particularly male participants, in the mankind and human wording conditions were more likely to select a male target as representative, whereas in the man or woman condition, participants’ choices did not differ from chance. Thus, androcentric thinking may be more mutable than previously surmised, varying by participants’ gender and by context. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Who Counts as Human? Antecedents to Androcentric Behavior

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-016-0648-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

People view men as typically human, although some conditions may make this more or less likely. Language has been implicated as one factor, with masculine generic language (e.g., he used neutrally) leading to more androcentrism relative to its alternatives. However, the influence of two types of alternatives (e.g., they vs. he or she) remains unclear. The present study asked 297 male and female online participants from the United States to select typical representations of humanity from a set of White and Black male and female faces. The wording for the concept humanity was manipulated to be either a typical member of mankind, a typical human, or a typical man or woman (or woman or man). Overall, participants selected more White targets. Participants also selected more male targets, but the degree to which that was the case was affected by wording and participant’s gender. Participants, particularly male participants, in the mankind and human wording conditions were more likely to select a male target as representative, whereas in the man or woman condition, participants’ choices did not differ from chance. Thus, androcentric thinking may be more mutable than previously surmised, varying by participants’ gender and by context.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 17, 2016

References

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