Gender-Specific Language

For decades communication scholars have considered the role that gender plays in ordering and influencing society. Rather than simply being attributable to men or women, typically in accordance with biological sex (e.g., men are aggressive, women are communal), gender can be seen as a lens—a way of understanding behavior, communication styles, and roles in work and personal spheres. For instance, scholars have recognized that our perceptions of leaders and leadership are based on socially constructed perceptions of gender differences. Perceptions of gendered leadership influence how individuals in positions of authority are treated, especially when they behave in a manner that is inconsistent with our perceptions and expectations. Thus, although extant research has well-established language differences based on stereotypical understandings of male and female ...

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