The Gender Novels Project

Pronoun Adjective Usage

Top Adjectives Associated with Each Gender

Female Adjectives

Adjective Difference
Beautiful -6606
Pretty -4348
Sweet -4119
Lady -3058
Lovely -2205
Dear -1926
Soft -1922
Happy -1527
Queen -1198
Girlish -1027
Delicate -987
Graceful -945
Bright -932
Rosy -771
Alone -755
Pale -697
Down -665
Childish -657
Slim -645

Male Adjectives

Adjective Difference
Old 53565
Good 48647
Last 48647
Great 40234
First 28948
Young 26771
Little 25935
More 25071
Few 20510
Much 19362
Many 19283
New 18025
Long 17929
Big 17520
Right 15763
Best 14032
Dead 12470
Certain 11966
Better 11782
Sure 11643

These were obtained by calculating the difference between adjective associations with male pronouns, and with female pronouns:

number of male pronoun associations – number of female pronoun associations = difference value

Adjectives with the highest positive difference values demonstrate the strongest male pronoun association, and adjectives with the highest negative difference values demonstrate the strongest female pronoun association.


The code used for this analysis can be found in

The raw analysis returns a dictionary with each novel mapped to an array of 2 dictionaries:

  • Each adjective and its number of occurrences associated with male pronouns
  • Each adjective and its number of occurrences associated with female pronouns

For each novel, this analysis is conducted by iterating through the novel's tokenized text and considering windows of 10 words. When the central word of a window is a gendered pronoun, any adjectives also in the window are added to a dictionary. If there are additionally any opposite-gendered pronouns also in the window then the adjectives are discarded (as they are technically associated with both gender pronouns in that case).