Female politicians disadvantaged by online prejudices and stereotypes

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Female politicians disadvantaged by online prejudices and stereotypes


Danish politicians Pernille Vermund and Pia Olsen Dyhr before a political debate following the election declaration, Copenhagen. Foto: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix


In Reddit comments, female politicians are more likely to be referred to by their first names, and with a less professional focus, than their male counterparts. This a new study from the University of Copenhagen finds. Previous work from the researchers investigated gender differences in search engine results and language models with the same main conclusion: gender bias is widespread online. According to the researchers, this disadvantages female politicians.

In the run up to both the Danish parliamentary and US mid-term elections, many first-time voters are heading online to find out more about political candidates. So far so good. 

“We see a clear trend of female politicians being more frequently referred to by their given names alone and described with language that relates to their body, clothing or family”,  

- Professor Isabelle Augenstein of the Department of Computer Science, Copenhagen University

Click here to read the full article published by The University of Copenhagen on 28 October 2022.

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