Does language create our gender biases?


Published 13.05.20
Photo credit:
Chau Doan/World Bank

Can the linguistic structure of our mother tongue train us to see the world in terms of masculine and feminine?

Linguistic determinism is the concept that the structure of language can shape the way we think. In this VoxDev video, Pamela Jakiela, discusses new research into whether languages can train us to see society as partitioned into masculine and feminine domains. Fascinatingly, the researchers find that in countries where a higher fraction of the population speaks a gendered native language, there is larger gender gap in labour force participation and educational attainment.