Throughout history people have been aware of gender inequality and have simply ignored or overlooked it. But what is at the heart of the issue? Why has sexism survived for so long? Two different studies, both centered around women, reveal different things due to varying research methods/experiments.
The first study took a unique perspective- that certain languages/words are associated with a gender and therefore keep our world gender oriented, not recognizing an object for what it is but rather as a soft(female) or hard(male) concept. Using Correlational Research methods, Naturalistic Observation enabled scientists to manipulate any variables(the words, matching two words that were considered as opposite “genders”) and saw how that affected that language’s response. People often times can’t elaborate or explain their thoughts or in this case, prejudices, and this study proved that these gender associated words are meaningless-a word that a German speaker can be so sure about as “female” related, is perplexed when an opposing word is compared and that person is completely unable to explain their reasoning.
As said, the effects of gendered language on our thoughts are currently seen especially in the science professions. In a second study, undercover audio was collected- people weren’t given the chance to explain themselves and the real world was revealed. Women scientists collected audiotapes of random interactions over a period of time and the response each woman received was analyzed. The comparison and the depth of the prejudicial language used while speaking to these women scientists was revealing to the researchers about the nature of what they experience in their careers. Interestingly, this study was still done using Naturalistic Observation, but this information enabled scientists to predict the future and generate ideas for additional research. Less women occupy the science field but this can be applied on a larger scale- this study shows the pattern of women’s self fulfilling prophecy. They are shown less support and are constantly the underdog and these difficulties affect women. Many give up or aren’t able to perform to their highest ability. It is incredible that the subtleties of a language can have such a huge effect on society and that despite current efforts to explain it and educate the world, history repeats itself and nothing changes.