More Equal Female Status: Our Books, Our Society
The books we read, the books we have written, parallel “women’s status and changing trends in gender equality over the generations.” This is the very interesting conclusion of the very important research, recently published, by Jean M. Twenge, W. Keith Campbell, and Brittany Gentile.
In the abstract of their study, they summarize their findings:
From 1968 to 2008, the use of male pronouns decreased as female pronouns increased. The gender pronoun ratio was significantly correlated with indicators of U.S. women’s status such as educational attainment, labor force participation, and age at first marriage as well as women’s assertiveness, a personality trait linked to status. Books used relatively more female pronouns when women’s status was high and fewer when it was low. The results suggest that cultural products such as books mirror U.S. women’s status and changing trends in gender equality over the generations.
The study is titled, “Male and Female Pronoun Use in U.S. Books Reflects Women’s Status, 1900–2008.”
What are the implications for Bible reading in the original languages, in early Greek and Latin translation, and in English translations today?
What does it mean that the ratio of female to male pronouns may parallel our sexist and/or our more feminist or more egalitarian outlooks in our society?