Gender can be considered an embodied social concept encompassing biological and cultural components. In this study, we explored whether the concept of gender varies as a function of different cultural and linguistic norms by comparing communities that vary in their social treatment of gender-related issues and linguistic encoding of gender. In Study 1, Italian, Dutch, and English-speaking participants completed a free-listing task, which showed Italians and Dutch were the most distinct in their conceptualization of gender: Italian participants focused more on socio-cultural features (e.g., discrimination, politics, and power), whereas Dutch participants focused more on the corporeal sphere (e.g., hormones, breasts, and genitals). Study 2 replicated this finding focusing on Italian and Dutch and using a typicality rating task: socio-cultural and abstract features were considered as more typical of“gender” by Italian than Dutch participants. Study 3 addressed Italian and Dutch participants’ explicit beliefs about gender with a questionnaire measuring essentialism and constructivism, and consolidated results from Studies 1 and 2 showing that Dutch participants endorsed more essentialist beliefs about gender than Italian participants. Consistent with socio-cultural constructivist accounts, our results provide evidence that gender is conceptualized differently by diverse groups and is adapted to specific cultural and linguistic environments.

Gender is conceptualized in different ways across cultures / Mazzuca, C.; Borghi, A. M.; Van Putten, S.; Lugli, L.; Nicoletti, R.; Majid, A.. - In: LANGUAGE AND COGNITION. - ISSN 1866-9859. - (2023), pp. 1-27. [10.1017/langcog.2023.40]

Gender is conceptualized in different ways across cultures

Mazzuca C.
Primo
;
Borghi A. M.
Secondo
;
2023

Abstract

Gender can be considered an embodied social concept encompassing biological and cultural components. In this study, we explored whether the concept of gender varies as a function of different cultural and linguistic norms by comparing communities that vary in their social treatment of gender-related issues and linguistic encoding of gender. In Study 1, Italian, Dutch, and English-speaking participants completed a free-listing task, which showed Italians and Dutch were the most distinct in their conceptualization of gender: Italian participants focused more on socio-cultural features (e.g., discrimination, politics, and power), whereas Dutch participants focused more on the corporeal sphere (e.g., hormones, breasts, and genitals). Study 2 replicated this finding focusing on Italian and Dutch and using a typicality rating task: socio-cultural and abstract features were considered as more typical of“gender” by Italian than Dutch participants. Study 3 addressed Italian and Dutch participants’ explicit beliefs about gender with a questionnaire measuring essentialism and constructivism, and consolidated results from Studies 1 and 2 showing that Dutch participants endorsed more essentialist beliefs about gender than Italian participants. Consistent with socio-cultural constructivist accounts, our results provide evidence that gender is conceptualized differently by diverse groups and is adapted to specific cultural and linguistic environments.
2023
concepts; gender; cross-cultural variability; abstractness; gender/sex
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Gender is conceptualized in different ways across cultures / Mazzuca, C.; Borghi, A. M.; Van Putten, S.; Lugli, L.; Nicoletti, R.; Majid, A.. - In: LANGUAGE AND COGNITION. - ISSN 1866-9859. - (2023), pp. 1-27. [10.1017/langcog.2023.40]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1694070
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