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Gender Differences in Congressional Speeches


Gender Differences in Congressional Speeches

Dragana Božić Lenard

Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology Osijek

This book studies gender differences in language used in the 113th United States Congress (January 2013-January 2015). The corpus was composed of all uninterrupted speeches of 100 words or more, which amounted to 672 speeches by the female and 2,983 by the male politicians. The speeches were analysed to determine language categories used by the politicians, including word count, grammatical categories, different topics, and punctuation categories, to study the differences in language use by the male and the female politicians. They were also used in examining some intragroup differences and correlations between variables.

Several major gender differences emerged. The female politicians were shown to be more formal, critical and task-focused, while the male politicians were more socially oriented and elaborative, occupying the floor more than the female politicians. While the female politicians worked on establishing themselves as independent politicians, the male politicians embraced their collective identities. Also, the female politicians focused on raising the awareness of different health issues and providing support for patients and their families, the male politicians focused on the consequences and possible solutions to the problems.

The analysis includes implications for political discourse, and gender disparities within that discourse, and will be of interest to researchers in both politics and political science, and in gender and diversity.

Publication year: 2023

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