College Of Arts and Sciences | Language and Gender
E104 | 0058 | Auger, J.


This course is about language and gender: how women and men use
language and how language reflects the status of women and men in
society. Many people have specific ideas about the way women speak:
women are more polite than men and they speak better than them, they
talk and gossip more than men, they use expressions like kind of and
seek approval for what they say by making their statements sound
like questions or by adding tag questions: Itís a nice day, isnít
it? In this course, we will ask ourselves whether any of the
stereotypes about womenís language are true. We will try to
determine how differently women and men really speak and understand
why this should be the case. We will examine gender differences in
various cultures and seek to establish whether the differences are
genetic or social. We will also examine claims that English and many
other languages are sexist and that they deny women a level of
recognition equal to that granted to men.

The primary goal of this course is to engage students in a critical
examination of the various ways in which language and gender
interact so they become able to tell apart myth from reality.