The impact of gender-neutral pronouns on perceptions of candidates

Steinhauer, Brooke (2021) The impact of gender-neutral pronouns on perceptions of candidates. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This study examines the role of candidate pronouns in the process of candidate evaluations. The experiment investigates what assumptions voters will make about gender neutral candidates and how voters will react to candidates who use gender neutral pronouns. Specifically, it explores candidates with gender neutral pronouns and voter perceptions of these candidates. Findings suggest that, overall, candidates who use gender neutral pronouns are not at a disadvantage when it comes to candidate evaluations. Candidates who use they/them pronouns are more likely to be favoured in comparison to candidates who use he/him pronouns but less likely to be favoured in comparison to candidates who use she/her pronouns. The results contradict the widely accepted notion that men are likely to be perceived more positively by voters than women. Finally, the author considers the ramifications of these results on future scholarship and what it means for women and gender diverse political candidates.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15121
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 50-70).
Keywords: Political Science, Gender, Pronouns, Candidate Evaluations, Perceptions
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Political Science
Date: August 2021
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Grammar, Comparative and general--Pronoun--Political aspects; Gender identity--Political aspects.

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