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A general process model of the gender-linked language effect: Antecedents for and consequences of language used by men and women
Unformatted Document Text:  General Process Model of the GLLE 7 knowledge or provide input to partially formed gender-related and language-related structures; language plus a speaker whose gender is identifiable are the necessary causes of learning. However, these variables probably are not sufficient causes in the sense that some situations in which language and identifiable gender exist are more conducive to learning than are others. For example, social learning theory suggests that if an observed model speaker is rewarded for the production of gender-linked language and more generally for gender-appropriate behavior, a child is more likely to learn gender-related grammatical structures and lexical items than if the model is punished. A paradigm case may be a situation in which a child is watching a television program where a mother says to her young daughter, “Little girls don’t talk like that.” Such a program may lead to the formation of gender stereotypes of ostensibly appropriate language. Even if such entreaties are rare in the media, we have found that television programs aimed at pre-school children generally present male and female characters who speak using gender stereotypical language (Mulac, Bradac, & Mann, 1985). In another vein, Maltz and Borker have argued that boys and girls grow up in two different linguistic subcultures and therefore learn to use the same language in different ways. According to these authors, boys and girls learn social communication in same-sex groups, where gender stereotypes, especially those presented in the media, offer a model for communication behavior. There is some empirical evidence supporting the gender-as-culture hypothesis with specific reference to language (Mulac, Bradac, & Gibbons, 2001). When these findings are coupled with those that have found gender-stereotypical language use by male and female television characters in programming aimed at young children, the process of the formation of gender-linked language schemata and stereotypes becomes clearer.

Authors: Mulac, Anthony., Bradac, James. and Palomares, Nicholas.
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General Process Model of the GLLE
7
knowledge or provide input to partially formed gender-related and language-related structures;
language plus a speaker whose gender is identifiable are the necessary causes of learning.
However, these variables probably are not sufficient causes in the sense that some situations in
which language and identifiable gender exist are more conducive to learning than are others. For
example, social learning theory suggests that if an observed model speaker is rewarded for the
production of gender-linked language and more generally for gender-appropriate behavior, a
child is more likely to learn gender-related grammatical structures and lexical items than if the
model is punished. A paradigm case may be a situation in which a child is watching a television
program where a mother says to her young daughter, “Little girls don’t talk like that.” Such a
program may lead to the formation of gender stereotypes of ostensibly appropriate language.
Even if such entreaties are rare in the media, we have found that television programs aimed at
pre-school children generally present male and female characters who speak using gender
stereotypical language (Mulac, Bradac, & Mann, 1985).
In another vein, Maltz and Borker have argued that boys and girls grow up in two
different linguistic subcultures and therefore learn to use the same language in different ways.
According to these authors, boys and girls learn social communication in same-sex groups,
where gender stereotypes, especially those presented in the media, offer a model for
communication behavior. There is some empirical evidence supporting the gender-as-culture
hypothesis with specific reference to language (Mulac, Bradac, & Gibbons, 2001). When these
findings are coupled with those that have found gender-stereotypical language use by male and
female television characters in programming aimed at young children, the process of the
formation of gender-linked language schemata and stereotypes becomes clearer.


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