Gender-Biased Words


Someone has finally done a comparison of gender-bias in language that is actually interesting. Specifically, analyzed reviews from Rate My Professor and identified corresponding words used for men and women. Some are pretty obvious (he vs. she), but there are also more unexpected ones (e.g. the female equivalent of a trumpet is a flute). Sadly, you can't (easily) find this using Google because there are too many feminists (male:atheists) complaining than men are much more likely to be described as geniuses (female: goddesses). So he is a link:
The author didn't include anchors for the sections, so you have to scroll up a bit to get the chart.

For the scientifically minded, I have 2 caveats:
  1. Rate My Professor is probably not representative of English as a whole. The article author says that he is planning to run the experiment on 19th-century newspapers but, if he did, he hasn't posted his results.
  2. University classes taught by men are disproportionately taken by men and vice versa. However, Rate My Professor does not record the gender of raters. So it is impossible to distinguish between terms about women and terms used by women. This article assumes that everything is determined by the professor being described.

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