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Sexist Language: Gender marking of occupational terms and the non-parallel treatment of boy and girl
Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Humanities.
2008 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In everyday life women are exposed to sexist language. Terms and usages that exclude or discriminate women are referred to as sexist language. This takes into account that one presumes that maleness is the standard, the norm, and that femaleness is the non-standard, or the exception. The aim of this paper was to find whether gratuitous modifiers such as girl, lady, female and woman are used more frequently than the male markings and whether girl is used to a wider extent than boy to denote an adult. The aim includes two aspects of sexist language. Firstly, the aspect of calling women girls and men men, called non-parallel treatment. Secondly, the fact that it is more common for unmarked terms to refer to males while when referring to females a marked term is needed. As primary source for the study the Time Corpus was used, which is an online corpus containing over 100 million words and ranges from 1923-2007. The conclusion of this essay was that the female sex is more commonly marked and that woman/women are the most commonly used premodifiers. Gender markings most likely apply to occupations and labels which are thought of as either typically male or female. Furthermore, it was found that girl was used to a wider extent than boy to denote an adult. In addition, the results presented a possible change of trends where girl referred to a child to a larger extent in contemporary English.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. , p. 21
Keywords [en]
Sexist language, female marking, non-parallel treatment, boy, girl
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-5836OAI: oai:DiVA.org:vxu-5836DiVA, id: diva2:235813
Presentation
2008-01-18, Växjö, 00:00 (English)
Uppsok

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Available from: 2009-09-22 Created: 2009-09-18 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf