Working paper title
The Investigation of Gender Stereotypes and Language Reform in Role Nouns through the Use of Reflexive Pronouns
The gender stereotypes and grammatical function of reflexive pronouns on the representation of gender in Australian English were examined in the paper. The existence of language reform was also investigated. Six definitionally and fourteen stereotypically gendered role nouns (three items for each gender and seven items strongly stereotyped to refer to each gender) were chosen from Misersky et al. (2014)’s norms on the gender perception of role nouns in English. Participants selected one of the reflexive pronouns (himself, herself, themselves) to the antecedent role nouns. The overall result was slightly different from those of Misersky et al. (2014) due to language reform. Language reform was present and showed that male participants used generic plural anaphor (themselves) more than females participants did. Some role nouns were still strongly stereotyped on representations of gender when gender information was not available. Stereotyped information was also found to activate immediately and automatically. Participant gender was considered as a factor that may have influenced results since the participants were gender-oriented in selecting the pronouns to gender-unmarked role nouns.