Him, her, sex and the Polish language
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The aim of the paper is to examine whether different social standards concerning the sexual behavior of men and women find their reflection in the Polish language, its vocabulary, phraseology and proverbs. The topic is discussed in several sections devoted to the issues of virginity, promiscuity, sexual intercourse, marriage, spinsterhood and bachelorhood, faithfulness and betrayal, prostitution as well as sexual minorities. We demonstrate that in the overwhelming majority of cases Polish women are represented as sex objects whose virginity, faithfulness and the state of being married are highly valued while promiscuity, prostitution and spinsterhood are subject of contempt. None of these factors are relevant in the linguistic attitudes towards men, who are ridiculed only as cuckolded husbands and homosexuals. We present a list of words and longer expressions whose meaning is different when these terms are applied to men and women; only in the latter, but not in the former cases suggestions of promiscuity and immorality can always be found.
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