It struck me from my first glance at the title of Rossiter’s translation that, as a woman, I’m hardly implicated in his version of Vygotsky’s theories. After a quick look at Golod and Knox’s version, it seems clear that the same is true of their translation. The kind of male-centred language used in both translations was well out-of-fashion - in academic circles at least - by 1992, which begs the question why both used blatantly male-centred language throughout the book, presumably in reference to humans in general. Does the original Russian use male-centred language? If so, is this reflective of the language in general or a style particular to Vygotsky? Either way, is it worth reproducing in a translation?
поведении примитивного человек – is this simply “primitive behaviour of the human/person” or is "человек" the male version of a word with both male and female forms?
примитивный человек и его поведение – (translated by Rossiter as “primitive man and his behavior”) This might be something like “the primitive person and his behaviour”, его being the male form where её is the female 3rd person possessive pronoun. Его is also the neuter form, but I’m not sure whether the neuter form can be used with humans. What’s the protocol in Russian for generic personal pronouns? Feminine, masculine, or neuter? Whatever the answer, should this affect English translations?