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Gendered Perspectives on Reproduction and Sexuality

ISBN: 978-0-76231-088-3, eISBN: 978-1-84950-256-6

Publication date: 30 June 2004


Language is a fundamental and yet extraordinarily powerful medium. Language is more than the primary feature distinguishing humans from other species. As our principle means of communication, language links us to culture, and in so doing, shapes our perceptions and determines the way in which we think (Clark, Eschholz & Rosa, 1981; Thorne, Kramarae & Henley, 1983). Language is inseparable from social life. Through language, individuals learn cultural patterns and political and social values (Mueller, 1973). Language also reflects the prejudices of society, with assumptions about relative status, power or appropriate behavior often built into the words we use to talk about different groups of people. As Frank and Anshen (1983) note, ageism, racism, and most importantly for this discussion, sexism, are all perpetuated by our language, even among those who consciously reject those prejudices.


Winnick, T.A. (2004), "DELIVERY: GENDER AND THE LANGUAGE OF BIRTH", Texler Segal, M., Demos, V. and Jacobs Kronenfeld, J. (Ed.) Gendered Perspectives on Reproduction and Sexuality (Advances in Gender Research, Vol. 8), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 51-85.



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