Research Topic

Language, Cognition and Gender

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About this Research Topic

This research topic is cross-listed in the Frontiers in Psychology section Cognition.
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This research topic is cross-listed in the Frontiers in Psychology section Cognition.

Gender inequality is still an issue of high relevance in society. Previous research indicates that language contributes to gender inequality in various ways: Gender-related information is transmitted through formal and semantic features of language, such as the grammatical category of gender, gender-related connotations of role names (e.g., manager, secretary) or customs of denoting social groups with derogatory vs. neutral names. Both as a formal system and as a means of communication, language passively reflects culture-specific social conditions, but in active use can also be used to express and, potentially, perpetuate those conditions.


The research topics considered in the contributions to this proposed Frontiers Research Topic will include:
• how languages shape the cognitive representations of gender
• how features of languages correspond with gender equality in different societies
• how language contributes to social behaviour towards the sexes
• how gender equality can be promoted through strategies for gender-fair language use
These research topics will be explored both developmentally (across the life span from childhood to old age) and in adults, and will encompass work conducted across a wide range of languages, including some studies that include cross-linguistic comparisons.


The proposed contributors (almost all of whom have agreed to contribute a paper to the Research Topic) include both cognitive and social psychologists, and linguists, all of whom have an excellent research standing and all of whom have recently been conducting research on topics related to the general theme of the Research Topic. The contributions will also represent a wide range of methods: from surveys to electro-physiological studies. The contributions we have solicited will provide a wider range of complimentary studies, which will make a substantial contribution to understanding in this important area.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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