Intersectional Male-Centric and White-Centric Biases in Collective Concepts

April H. Bailey, Adina Williams, Aashna Poddar, Andrei Cimpian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In principle, the fundamental concepts person, woman, and man should apply equally to people of different genders and races/ethnicities. In reality, these concepts might prioritize certain groups over others. Based on interdisciplinary theories of androcentrism, we hypothesized that (a) person is more associated with men than women (person = man) and (b) woman is more associated with women than man is with men (i.e., women are more gendered: gender = woman). We applied natural language processing tools (specifically, word embeddings) to the linguistic output of millions of individuals (specifically, the Common Crawl corpus). We found the hypothesized person = man / gender = woman bias. This bias was stronger about Hispanic and White (vs. Asian) women and men. We also uncovered parallel biases favoring White individuals in the concepts person, woman, and man. Western society prioritizes men and White individuals as people and “others” women as people with gender, with implications for equity across policy- and decision-making contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • androcentrism
  • ethnocentrism
  • intersectionality
  • language
  • word embeddings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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