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Language, Gender and Sexuality

3. Language and Sexuality

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About this Lecture


In this module, we explore the relationship between language and sexuality, focusing in particular on: (i) early research in this area, and the concept of 'gay language' and 'lesbian language'; (ii) more recent research, which has focused on the idea that gay people perform their identity through their language (cf. Judith Butler's concept of 'performativity' discussed in the previous lecture); and (iii) the work of Robert J. Podesva ('Phonation type as a stylistic vehicle') and his research on the difference between how a gay man spoke in three different contexts: a conversation with his father, a meeting at work, and a BBQ with his friends.


In this course, Dr Lucy Jones (University of Nottingham) explores language use through the lens of gender and sexuality. In the first module, we outline some of the traditional approaches to the question of why men and women use language differently. After that, we think about some of the more recent, constructionist approaches. In the third module, we explore the relationship between language and sexuality, before turning in the fourth module to think about language in relation to transgender identities. A short final module sums up the key learnings from this course, as well as providing some recommending reading.


Dr Lucy Jones is Associate Professor in Sociolinguistics at the University of Nottingham. She works in the area of language, gender and sexuality (or queer linguistics) within the broader field of sociolinguistics, and her research makes use of critical discourse analysis and sociocultural linguistics alongside feminist and queer theory.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Jones, L. (2022, April 11). Language, Gender and Sexuality - Language and Sexuality [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Jones, Lucy. "Language, Gender and Sexuality – Language and Sexuality." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 11 Apr 2022,

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