ERIC Number: ED192280
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-May
Reference Count: 0
The Effects of Inclusive/Exclusive Language on Reading Comprehension, Perceived Human Interest, and Likelihood of Inclusive Pronoun Usage.
Todd-Mancillas, William R.; Meyers, Karen Ann
In response to the growing awareness of the impact of sexist language in society, many writers and educators have begun to use either noncontrived "inclusive" pronouns ("he or she,""s/he," or "he/she") or contrived inclusive pronouns ("tey") in place of the traditional "exclusive" pronouns (male referents only). A study was undertaken to discover the effects of inclusive/exclusive language on college students' reading comprehension, their determination of the quality of written materials (perceived human interest), and the likelihood of their adopting inclusive pronoun usage after reading materials containing it. Three hundred fifty-eight students were randomly assigned to one of three language conditions: (1) exclusive "he," (2) noncontrived inclusive "s/he," and (3) contrived inclusive "tey." After reading one of three experimental passages, the subjects were administered tests measuring comprehension, perceived human interest of the materials, and likelihood of adoption of the language form used. Analysis of data revealed no significant main or interaction effects on any of the dependent variables. The results provide partial support for the continued use of inclusive language in written materials. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (30th, Acapulco, Mexico, May 18-23, 1980).