2004
Volume 43, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1573-9775
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1236

Abstract

Abstract

Speakers of Dutch as spoken in the Netherlands often use masculine job titles for female professionals. We tested the influence of gender(in)congruent job titles on the credibility of medical specialists in Dutch as spoken in the Netherlands. More specifically, we investigated whether the credibility of female medical specialists is boosted by referring to them with a masculine job title (e.g., ‘neurologist as opposed to a feminine job title (e.g., ‘neurologist (e also tested if this effect is moderated by participant gender.

We constructed three news articles in which a medical specialist – either a neurologist, oncologist or a surgeon – shared their opinion on a health topic. The medical specialist was referred to by either the masculine or the feminine job title, thereby being incongruent or congruent with the female medical specialist’s actual gender, respectively. After having read the article, participants had to rate the medical specialist on several dimensions, based on which we calculated the health professional’s perceived credibility.

The results of this study showed a significant difference between female and male participants regarding the influence of gender(in)congruent job titles on the credibility of medical specialists. Women perceived male and female medical specialists as equally credible, regardless of their job titles. Men, on the other hand, evaluated the credibility of female medical specialists to be lower when they were referred to with a masculine job title. Gender congruent job titles thus increase female medical specialists’ credibility from the perspective of men.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): congruence; credibility; gender; health communication; job titles
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