Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our First ICCLR Project: Caribbean Gender Stereotypes

One of the research areas targeted in the original ICCLR proposal was Language and Sexuality. This has kicked off with a Caribbean Gender Stereotypes Study. Funded by the Caribbean Child Support Initiative, two entities within the ICCLR, the JLU/UCLR in collaboration with the Caribbean Lexicography Project collected data from both Jamaican and Barbadian adult populations on the issue of gender stereotypes in their respective societies.

A list of male and female-associated adjectives was presented to both populations and the participants asked to assign these adjectives to the more appropriate gender according to their cultural definitions. These adjectives were then presented to a number of children in both Barbados and Jamaica with a view to determining child stereotypes about gender. Two hundred and thirty six (236) informants were interviewed by the study.

There are plans to expand this gender stereotype data base by collecting data from other Caribbean adult populations e.g. Toronto, Birmingham, Florida (USA), and Trinidad. The findings from this expanded data base will be used to produce research papers on the impact of popular culture on the sexual expression of Caribbean adults over the last ten (10) years. This paper is expected to be ready by December 2010.

A spin-off of this research, of interest to the Caribbean Lexicography Project, is the proposed production of a list of technical terms for sexuality, sexually transmitted infections, etc. for Jamaican, and a list of matching terms to be produced for Bajan through recordings of interviews at clinics, hospitals, etc.

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