Challenging Negative Gender Stereotypes: A Study on the Effectiveness of Automated Counter-Stereotypes

18 Apr 2024  ·  Isar Nejadgholi, Kathleen C. Fraser, Anna Kerkhof, Svetlana Kiritchenko ·

Gender stereotypes are pervasive beliefs about individuals based on their gender that play a significant role in shaping societal attitudes, behaviours, and even opportunities. Recognizing the negative implications of gender stereotypes, particularly in online communications, this study investigates eleven strategies to automatically counter-act and challenge these views. We present AI-generated gender-based counter-stereotypes to (self-identified) male and female study participants and ask them to assess their offensiveness, plausibility, and potential effectiveness. The strategies of counter-facts and broadening universals (i.e., stating that anyone can have a trait regardless of group membership) emerged as the most robust approaches, while humour, perspective-taking, counter-examples, and empathy for the speaker were perceived as less effective. Also, the differences in ratings were more pronounced for stereotypes about the different targets than between the genders of the raters. Alarmingly, many AI-generated counter-stereotypes were perceived as offensive and/or implausible. Our analysis and the collected dataset offer foundational insight into counter-stereotype generation, guiding future efforts to develop strategies that effectively challenge gender stereotypes in online interactions.

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