Perhaps even more interestingly, this effect that grammatical genders have on how we view the world also carries over to other languages.
When native German and Spanish speakers were given a list of words that have opposing genders in their languages and asked to describe each word in English (they were also fluent in English), researchers found that the object’s gender was still very much in play. For example, the word for “key” is masculine in German, so the test participants were much more likely to characterise keys as heavy, metal, hard, or useful. Native Spanish-speakers, where the word is feminine, on the other hand, described keys as intricate, golden, little, and lovely.
When they were asked to describe a bridge, German-speakers used words like beautiful, elegant, slender, fragile, while Spanish-speakers said bridges are strong, dangerous, and sturdy. Can you guess which gender the word for “bridge” is in either of these languages? The important part to remember here is that this particular test was carried out in English. So, even if you switch languages but are used to characterising objects as either male or female, the biases created will follow you around. Additionally, if English speakers end up learning a gendered system of categorising nouns, it will influence their mental representations of gendered objects the same way.