Language & Gender

For my chosen article I decided to critique Dadds & O’Kearney’s (2004) ‘Developmental and gender differences in language for emotions across the adolescent years.’ The overall proposals in this study was to identity and distinguish the similarities and differences between the male and female use of emotion terms in language use, focusing mainly on anger and fear. Dadds & O’Kearney discussed and hypothesised the different fundamentals involving emotion terms and found that the subjectivist/ experiential and expressive/ behavioural factors, along with linguistically and situational comprehension was crucial in the understanding of how and why it works.
In order to test their hypothesis and main aims Dadds & O’Kearney selected a range of both male and female participants for which English was there first language, ranging from the ages of twelve to eighteen. The selection varied in year group and school and in total consisted of three hundred and three students from Brisbane, Australia.
They suggested that it was more likely for adolescents to display negative terms of emotion when engaging in general conversation and interaction, implying that boys were more likely to portray an active and expressive manner in comparison to girls, based on the various situations an individual is place under, referred to by Dadds & O’Kearney as the ‘situational conditions.’
They set their participants vignettes in which the experimenter produced two different scenarios for the students to consider. The first was designed to produce the emotion anger, whilst the other was to generate fear. The chosen format of the results consisted of a table, containing the quantitative data acquired from the two sets of vignettes, and bar charts, followed by a detailed analysis.
The methodology then consisted of a further explanation to their theories. The first was the ‘evaluative category’, which focused on the hedonic tone of emotion terms in which the semantic orientations of words were...