Gender IssuesNewsTechnology

Gender Stereotypes Not #Prochoice in Personal Digital Assistants

By May 22, 2019 No Comments

You never know where gender bias lies in wait. Is this contrary to a #prochoice environment?  Does it even matter?   Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri Products default to female voices and everyone refers to the software as “her.”


An interesting United Nations report (with the saccharine title “I’d Blush if I Could”) suggests that PDA voice assistants sound female, and are used to answer questions or carry out tasks like checking the weather, determining how old a celebrity is, or setting reminders. The UN report says it does matter.  It sends the message that women are passive an eager-to-please their digital “masters.”


The UN report exposes the gender biases that are being built into the tech products we use every day.


The recommendation: The report calls for companies to stop making digital assistants female by default and explore ways to make them sound “genderless.”