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  • 1. Gustafsson Sendén, Marie
    et al.
    Sikström, Sverker
    Lindholm, Torun
    "She" and "He" in News Media Messages: Pronoun Use Reflects Gender Biases in Semantic Contexts2015In: Sex Roles, ISSN 0360-0025, E-ISSN 1573-2762, Vol. 72, no 1-2, p. 40-49Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research has shown a male bias in the media. This study tests this statement by examining how the pronouns She and He are used in a news media context. More specifically, the study tests whether He occurs more often and in more positive semantic contexts than She, as well as whether She is associated with more stereotypically and essential labels than He is. Latent semantic analysis (LSA) was applied to 400 000 Reuters' news messages, written in English, published in 1996-1997. LSA is a completely data-driven method, extracting statistics of words from how they are used throughout a corpus. As such, no human coders are involved in the assessment of how pronouns occur in their contexts. The results showed that He pronouns were about 9 times more frequent than She pronouns. In addition, the semantic contexts of He were more positive than the contexts of She. Moreover, words associated with She-contexts included more words denoting gender, and were more homogeneous than the words associated with He-contexts. Altogether, these results indicate that men are represented as the norm in these media. Since these news messages are distributed on a daily basis all over the world, in printed newspapers, and on the internet, it seems likely that this presentation maintains, and reinforces prevalent gender stereotypes, hence contributing to gender inequities.

  • 2.
    Pietraszkiewicz, Agnieszka
    et al.
    University of Bern, Switzerland.
    Formanowicz, Magdalena
    University of Bern, Switzerland.
    Gustafsson Sendén, Marie
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Psychology. Stockholm University.
    Boyd, Ryan L.
    The University of Texas at Austin, USA.
    Sikström, Sverker
    Lund University.
    Sczesny, Sabine
    University of Bern, Switzerland.
    The Big Two Dictionaries:Capturing Agency and Communion in Natural Language2019In: European Journal of Social Psychology, ISSN 0046-2772, E-ISSN 1099-0992, Vol. 49, no 5, p. 871-887Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Four studies developed and validated two dictionaries to capture agentic and communal expressions in natural language. Their development followed the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) approach (Study 1) and we tested their validity with frequency-based analyses and semantic similarity measures. The newly developed Agency and Communion dictionaries were aligned with LIWC categories related to agency and communion (Study 2), and corresponded with subjective ratings (Study 3), confirming their convergent validity. Very low or absent correspondence between proposed dictionaries and unrelated LIWC categories demonstrated their discriminant validity (Study 2). Finally, we applied both dictionaries to language used in advertisements. In correspondence to gender stereotypes, male-dominated jobs were advertised with more agentic than communal words, and female-dominated jobs with more communal than agentic words (Study 4). Both dictionaries represent reliable tools for quantifying agentic and communal content in natural language, and will improve and facilitate future research on agency and communion.

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