Generic pronouns and sexist language: The oxymoronic character of masculine generics

  title={Generic pronouns and sexist language: The oxymoronic character of masculine generics},
  author={John Gastil},
  journal={Sex Roles},
  • John Gastil
  • Published 1 December 1990
  • Linguistics, Psychology
  • Sex Roles
This experiment investigated the propensity of the generic he to evoke images of males relative to he/she and the plural they. Undergraduates read sentences aloud and verbally described the images that came to mind. The results provide strong support for the hypothesis that the generic he evokes a disproportionate number of male images. Results also suggest that while the plural they functions as a generic pronoun for both males and females, males may comprehend he/she in a manner similar to he… 


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