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ERIC Number: ED159706
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Aug
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
An Investigation of Referents of Selected Sex-Indefinite Terms in English.
DeStefano, Johanna S.; And Others
In a study of people's responses to the allegedly sex-neutral terms "man,""mankind,""human being,""person," and "individual," 43 11-year-old boys and girls and 127 young men and women were asked to read sentences containing the terms and assign referents for each sentence. Referents were assigned by choosing from a group of pictorial symbols representing males, females, and half male/half female individuals. Analysis of the results indicated that, although no totally sex-bound choices of referents were found (such as male figures only for the term "man") certain terms tended not to function in a consistently sex-indefinite manner for a majority of subjects. "Human beings" appeared to function as the most sex-indefinite term, and "man" or "men" as the least. The context in which the terms appeared did not seem to generate particularly strong effects. (The paper includes a table showing results for age and sex groups and an analysis of responses for each of the terms investigated, broken down by age and sex.) (GW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the World Congress of Sociology Conference (Uppsala, Sweden, August 14-19, 1978)