Gendered language use

This is what a mechanic sounds like

In a vocal imitation task children between the ages of 5 and 10 adjusted their voices to match gender-stereotypical expectations: masculinization (lowering the voice) when imitating a traditional male profession and feminization (voice height and resonance increase) for a traditional female profession. These voice adjustments increased with age, especially in boys, and were not explained by explicit stereotypical views of the children.


Cartei, V., Oakhill, J., Garnham, A., Banerjee, R., & Reby, D. (2020). “This is what a mechanic sounds like.” Children’s vocal control reveals implicit occupational stereotypes. Psychological Science,


Gendering LanguageRead more here about the influence of grammatical conventions around gender in language on gender equality.




Prewitt-Freilino, J.L., Caswell, T.A. & Laakso, E.K. (2012). The gendering of language: A comparison of gender equality in countries with gendered, natural gender, and genderless languages. Sex Roles, 66, 268–281.

Read the newsletter (in Dutch) "Gendered taalgebruik" of 22 December 2015

evidenceGaucher, D., Friesen, J, & Kay, A. C. (2011). Evidence that gendered wording in job advertisements exists and sustains gender equality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology101, 109-128.

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Schmader, T., Whitehead, J., & Wysocki, V. H. (2007). A linguistic comparison of letters of recommendation for male and female chemistry and biochemistry job applicants, Sex Roles57, 509-514.

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Stout, J. G., & Dasgupta, N. (2011). When he doesn’t mean you: Gender-exclusive language as ostracism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin36, 757-769.