Based on billions of words on the internet, people = men

Science Advances Journal


Recent advances have made it possible to precisely measure the extent to which any two words are used in similar contexts. In turn, this measure of similarity in linguistic context also captures the extent to which the concepts being denoted are similar. When extracted from massive corpora of text written by millions of individuals, this measure of linguistic similarity can provide insight into the collective concepts of a linguistic community, concepts that both reflect and reinforce widespread ways of thinking. Using this approach, we investigated the collective concept person/people, which forms the basis for nearly all societal decision- and policy-making. In three studies and three preregistered replications with similarity metrics extracted from a corpus of over 630 billion English words, we found that the collective concept person/people is not gender-neutral but rather prioritizes men over women—a fundamental bias in our species’ collective view of itself.


Latest Publications

Presto: A Decade of SQL Analytics at Meta

Yutian James Sun, Tim Meehan, Rebecca Schlussel, Wenlei Xie, Masha Basmanova, Orri Erling, Andrii Rosa, Shixuan Fan, Rongrong Zhong, Arun Thirupathi, Nikhil Collooru, Ke Wang, Sameer Agarwal, Arjun Gupta, Dionysios Logothetis, Kostas Xirogiannopoulos, Bin Fan, Amit Dutta, Varun Gajjala, Rohit Jain, Ajay Palakuzhy, Prithvi Pandian, Sergey Pershin, Abhisek Saikia, Pranjal Shankhdhar, Neerad Somanchi, Swapnil Tailor, Jialiang Tan, Sreeni Viswanadha, Zac Wen, Deepak Majeti, Aditi Pandit, Biswapesh Chattopadhyay

SIGMOD - 2023