Differences in Applying the Terms “Sex” and “Gender” Across Scientific Authors Active in English and Non-English Speaking Countries

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Umeå universitet/Institutionen för psykologi

Sammanfattning: The aim of this present study was to examine whether scientific authors active in English-speaking countries differ from those in non-English-speaking countries in their use of the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’. Based on earlier science, findings have shown that the first language (L1) and second language (L2) differ in the neural processes of the brain and working memory. Research has also shown that women tend to communicate in a more polite and involved manner compared to men. Based on such findings, we compare authors’ tendency to use the terms sex and gender correctly, as a function of their sex and whether they were affiliated to a country with English as first language (EFL) or English as second language (ESL). The hypothesises of this study were (1) scientists affiliated to universities located in EFL countries are more likely to use the terms sex and gender correctly, compared to scientists affiliated to universities in ESL countries, and (2) female scientists are more likely to use the term gender, when they are actually referring to sex, than male scientists and are also less likely to use the term sex when they are referring to gender, compared to male scientists. Results supported the first but not the second hypothesis. Further results are analyzed and discussed based on theories from cognitive science.  

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