Google’s Autocomplete Search Reveals Sexism

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October 23, 2013 9:49 a.m.

Thanks to a tweet from sociologist Sarah Sobieraj, we learned of a powerful campaign to raise awareness about gender inequality from the arm of the United Nations dedicated to empowering women. The designers of the ads did Google searches, allowing the auto-complete to fill in word stems with the most commonly searched phrases. The results are eyebrow-raising.

I was curious to find out what my personal Google machine would spit out and, also, what the equivalent searches for men would return. Below, I reproduce the ads, followed by my own results. Eyebrow-raising. As a bonus, I did the searches for feminists.

I guess we still need feminism. Unfortunately …

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College. She blogs at Sociological Images, where this post was originally published. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook

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