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Janet B. Parks and Mary Ann Roberton

This paper discusses three studies on changing people's attitudes toward sexist/nonsexist language. In Study 1, sport management students (N= 164) were asked how to persuade others to use nonsexist language. Many suggested education. Study 2 participants (N = 201) were asked if they had ever discussed sexist language in instructional settings. Analysis of their attitudes revealed an interaction between gender and instruction. Study 3 (N = 248) tested the effects of 3 types of instruction on student attitudes about sexist/nonsexist language. After a 50-minute intervention, Study 3 participants were generally undecided about sexist/nonsexist language, and their attitudes did not differ across instructional strategies (p > .01). In all conditions, males were significantly less receptive to nonsexist language than females (p < .01). This “gender gap” was magnified by a combination of direct and indirect instruction. Until more is known, the authors propose (a) modeling and (b) instruction grounded in empathy as initial strategies for teaching inclusive language.