Last Updated 06 Aug 2020

Gender Discrimination on English Language

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Language plays an important role in society. As a phenomenon of society, language reflects all the sides of human society naturally. Sexism is a phenomenon that takes a male-as-norm attitude, trivializing, insulting, or rendering women invisible. Like a mirror reflecting the society, language images the social views and values. The causes of sexism in this thesis are not the language itself but due to the inequality between males and females in such areas as traditional culture, religious consciousness social status as well as social status. Language, which has a close relation with society, could reflect the certain social custom and characteristics of a nation. In addition, social development and changes, in turn, will affect language and can input fresh blood to it. English, as one of the oldest languages, which has an extensive influence in the current world, has also experienced numerous impacts from the reforms and changes. These changes and trends constantly updated the use of language as well.

In the 1960s, great changes have been made in modern English since the rise of the American feminist movement, namely, the women's liberation movement. That is, some of the original uses and meanings have been eliminated or become obsolete while some new expressions have emerged. On the one hand, it makes the English expressions and uses more accurate, clear. On the other hand, however, it is hard to avoid bringing some new problems. The thesis summarizes the phenomena of sexism in English as well as traces the reasons for the occurrence of sexism in the English language. Then it concerns the feminist influence on the language. The paper documents and discusses feminist language reform: the efforts, the initiatives, and actions of feminists around the world to change the biased representation of the sexes in language.

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Key Words:

  • Sexism in language
  • Feminist movement
  • Language reform


  1. Introduction
  2. Sexism in Language
  3. The definition of language sexism
  4. The phenomenon of language sexism in English
  5. The reason for language sexism in English
  6. The influence of socialized prejudice and traditional idea
  7. The influence of religion consciousness
  8. The Psychological reason
  9. The Development of the English Language Sexism viewed from the American Feminist Movements and its Effects
  10. The influence of the feminist movement on Language Sexism
  11. The effects on the English language after the language reform
  12. The Different Attitude towards the Reform of English Language
  13. Conclusion
  14. References
  15. Acknowledgements

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