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Female Politicians Disadvantaged by Online Prejudices, Stereotypes

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Danish politicians Pernille Vermund and Pia Olsen Dyhr greeting each other before a political debate in Copenhagen.

Credit: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

Scientists at Denmark's University of Copenhagen (KU) has found widespread online gender bias to be a disadvantage for female politicians.

The researchers analyzed 10 million English-language comments on the Reddit social media website, using statistical algorithms on several categories in which gender bias can be expressed.

They learned that female politicians are more likely to be referred to by their first names, and with a less professional focus, than their male peers, who are more often referred to by their surnames and described in words related to their professions.

Said KU's Isabelle Augenstein, when Internet users click on such stereotypical or prejudiced content, “The stereotypical narrative is reinforced, as the algorithms read this interaction as a success to be repeated."

From University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
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Abstracts Copyright © 2022 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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