Language and Gender Essay Sample

The footings sex and gender are frequently used interchangeably but the term gender was originally introduced to hold a somewhat different significance to sex. In this manner. sex refers to biological differences whereas gender refers to societal differences. So for illustration. the fact that work forces have tonss of facial hair and adult females dont is a sex difference but the fact that adult females wear skirts and work forces dont ( in Western civilizations ) is a gender difference. Sexist Language Sexism means that the sexes are represented unevenly. Normally. we associate sexism as a impression that represents adult females as being less able or skilled in some manner than work forces. Symmetry One manner in which English is sometimes considered to be sexist is in the dissymmetry of the vocabulary and how words are applied. System of vocabulary For illustration. the generic word for Equus caballuss is Equus caballus. for male Equus caballuss it is entire and for females female horse. For worlds nevertheless. the generic term and the term for grownup males in adult male. This creates dissymmetry in the linguistic communication as it possible for the term adult male to be equivocal. This is known as he-man linguistic communication. Names It is frequently said that adult females do non truly hold their ain names. They take their male parents surname when they are born and their hubbies when they get married.

Of class many adult females now keep their ain family name after matrimony or take their female parents maiden name. Use of Vocabulary It is non merely the words available in the linguistic communication that may be considered to be sexist. but besides. how they are used. So for illustration. it is acceptable to name a female a miss for much longer than it is acceptable to name a male a male child. Titles The usage of rubrics is besides asymmetrical. Men merely use one rubric throughout their lives. Women by and large use Miss before theyre married and Mrs afterwards. The usage of the rubric Ms is a recent debut that was meant to stop the inequality of the system by non demoing whether or non a adult female was married. However. now it seems that the usage of your rubric besides suggests political associations. Some people may believe that you are a feminist if you use Ms or anti feminist if you use Miss or Mrs. Some people besides think Ms is used for divorced adult females. Marked footings Some footings may do females seem to differ from the criterion by adding a postfix to words used to depict them. Therefore we have braces such as actor/actress. steward/stewardess.

Even words which can be used to mention to a individual of either sex can be marked. So. for illustration we may name a female physician a lady physician. proposing that the norm is a male physician. Semantic disparagement This refers to the procedure by which words may get negative intensions. In footings of sexist linguistic communication. we frequently find that words mentioning to adult females have undergone this procedure. For illustration. we frequently find the term lady used where a gender impersonal or male term is used if the occupation is done by a adult male. Therefore we have dinner lady. tea lady. lollipop lady and cleaning lady. The tantamount male term Godhead has non undergone this disparagement. The footings maestro and kept woman and sir and dame are besides unequal. The male footings refer merely to the power dealingss whilst the female footings besides have sexual intensions. Abuses and lewdnesss In English we normally find that abuses and obscene words are normally to make with parts of the organic structure or sexual behavior. We normally besides find that more of these footings relate to adult females and in general are more violative than tantamount footings for work forces.

Linguistic differences between work forces and adult females There are many well-researched differences between work forces and adult females address. at each degree of lingual analysis. Levels of analysis Phoneticss and Phonology Studies of Norwich English have found that in all societal groups work forces and more likely to state things like walkin ( a non-standard signifier ) than adult females. This is besides the instance for glottal Michigans in London English. where work forces are more likely to utilize a glottal halt in words like butter. than adult females. In footings of their modulation. adult females have a higher pitch in portion because they have smaller voice boxs and smaller vocal creases. However. the physical differences are likely non plenty to explicate the differences in pitch that are used. Womans may speak with a higher pitch in portion to do them look smaller than they are. and work forces may utilize a lower pitch to do them look bigger than they are. Syntax Similar differences are found in the usage of grammatical signifiers. For illustration. in Detroit English. work forces are more likely to utilize multiple negation ( e. g. I dont want none ) than adult females. In British English excessively. work forces and male childs use more non criterion signifiers such as non-standard s ( e. g. They calls me all the names under the Sun ) . non-standard has ( e. g. you has to make what youre told ) . and non-standard was ( e. g. you was with me. wasnt you ) . Discourse It seems that despite the common stereotype. work forces talk more than adult females when in assorted sex groups.

There is besides grounds to propose that work forces interrupt adult females more than they interrupt other work forces and besides more than adult females interrupt work forces or other adult females. Women give more back channel support. this is feedback which shows the talker they are being listened to. Women besides use more average signifiers ( could. would. should. might ) than work forces. Womans seem to speak more about personal. confidant subjects than work forces. Possible accounts for differences Use of standard signifiers There are many accounts for why adult females use more standard signifiers than work forces. The societal position account provinces that work forces use more standard signifiers because they are more position witting than work forces. The thought is that adult females are more cognizant of how their address signals their position and hence use more standard signifiers that are associated with such position. There is some grounds to back up this as adult females frequently over report their use of standard signifiers. However. it was originally claimed that adult females without paid employment use the most standard signifiers as they cant claim position through their occupations. This claim has since been disproved. The guardian account suggests that as society expects adult females to act better than work forces. they therefore use more standard signifiers.

This account besides draws on the fact that adult females are most frequently the theoretical accounts for childrens address. However. most analyses are of address in interview scenes. which we would anticipate to be more standard. and non of the relaxed address between female parent and kid. which we would anticipate may incorporate fewer criterion signifiers. The politeness account suggests that adult females are low-level in society and hence must be polite. However. it is hard to see how standard signifiers relate to the issues of niceness. as it is possible to be polite utilizing the slang. The machismo account seeks to explicate work forces behaviour instead than adult females. It is. after all. work forces who are more likely to utilize non-standard signifiers. This account states that non-standard signifiers carry intensions of maleness and stamina. This may explicate why adult females use fewer such signifiers and is supported by the fact that work forces frequently over report their usage of non-standard signifiers. However. this account does non propose why all talkers use more common signifiers in informal scenes. Discourse The laterality account suggests that differences in the conversations of the sexes occur because adult females have less power than work forces and address reflects these differences. This theory nevertheless. suggests that work forces demean adult females. who are merely powerless victims.

The difference account suggests that the sexes develop different address manners because of clip spent in individual sex groups as kids and in big life. Womens manners are based on cooperation and support whilst work forces are based on position. In assorted sex groups the different manners clash taking to misinterpretations. General jobs with linguistic communication and gender research There are two chief jobs with much of the research on linguistic communication and gender. One is that frequently. we assume that all adult females and all work forces are the same and make non take into history other of import variables like age and ethnicity. A 2nd is that frequently the state of affairs in which research is conducted is an unnatural 1. Recent surveies try to turn to these issues by utilizing new techniques.


Goodwin. M. ( 1998 ) . Cooperation and Competition Across Girls Play Activities. In J. Coates ( ed. ) . Language and Gender A Reader. pp. 121-146. Oxford Blackwell Publishers. Henley. N. Kramarae. H. ( 1991 ) . Miscommunication. Gender and Power. In N. Coupland. J. Wiemann H. Giles ( explosive detection systems. ) . Miscommunication and Debatable Talk. pp. 18-43. Newbury Park. CA Sage Publications. Holmes. J. ( 1984 ) . Womens Language A Functional Approach. General Linguistics. 24 ( 3 ) . pp. 149-178. Jaggar. A. M. ( 1983 ) . Feminist Politics and Human Nature. Totowa Rowman Allanheld. Feminine Linguistics Language. Society and Power PAGE MERGEFORMAT 9 QsoVv sfTGOY. eO 10M8MC-5 10M8MC-5 cNUcA ( P P5AKyQm_g- . omega Wv6l2JOGCo cXn zyW5jUOyWa8 W 09UEY ( uBs07MJIJubcMzGDS-cuS R ) SqxN9 fwyzRj2lNM_Br. 3WVBMFnZSGUAEVG-RRG T BqTLI. @ YEQk woVRO ( Y_xK77Bjg5. XksOH-Y. ZvauuxY3VfaKu9o0xUiq0du_Gc. idvpSNa1rX7Tu Y. dXiJ ( x ( I_TS1EZBmU/xYy5g/GMGeD3Vqq8K ) fw9 xrxwrTZaGy8IjbRcXI

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