This handout is an attempt to simply help guide authors within the selection of appropriate language to utilize whenever currently talking about groups of men and women

Share away!

This handout is an attempt to simply help guide authors within the selection of appropriate language to utilize whenever currently talking about groups of men and women

General advice:

  • Assume a broad market, and consider the effectation of the terms you utilize on your own market. Perform some terms imply a judgment? Will be the terms very likely to offend? In that case, rephrase.
  • Simply just Take obligation for the language alternatives. The first-time utilizing a term that could be misinterpreted/considered improper, consist of a rationale for the option, such as for example by the addition of a footnote that especially describes the word for the purposes and context.
  • Only use the language this is certainly essential to the context: usage “female firefighters” only when you might be especially talking about that sex for the reason that occupation. Distinctions should always be noted only if appropriate.
  • Prevent terms that evaluate, that might indicate inferiority/superiority, such as for example “low course.
  • Utilize the degree that is appropriate of: “Dominicans” in the place of “Hispanics. ”
  • Give attention to individuals in place of on a way of categorization: “people with psychological disease” as opposed to “the mentally sick. ”
  • Whenever speaking about some topics, you might have to utilize dated terminology in speaking about the niche in historic context, but utilize modern language in your analysis.

If not sure of just just what language to utilize, check with your teacher, classmates, and present readings that are academic the control, which will probably utilize terms appropriate towards the discipline.


Intercourse: category of an individual as man or woman according to biological traits (intercourse chromosomes, hormones, reproductive systems).

Gender: category of an individual as man or woman according to social or characteristics that are cultural.

Transgender: an adjective describing those whoever sex identification or phrase will not match the sex that is biological were assigned at delivery. A transgender individual may or may well not go through hormones therapy or intercourse reassignment surgery, and intervention that is medical considered only one section of a bigger change process. Might be reduced to “trans” or “trans*” in certain circumstances. The asterisk emphasizes that numerous various identities fall underneath the bigger transgender umbrella term.

Cisgender: an adjective explaining a person that is non-transgender some body whose assigned intercourse at birth fits their identified intercourse.

Transgender woman: someone assigned male at delivery but who lives and identifies as a lady. The abbreviation MTF (male-to-female) can be used, however some care against it as it privileges assigned intercourse over identified intercourse.

Transgender guy: a person assigned feminine at delivery but who lives and identifies as a guy. The abbreviation FTM (female-to-male) works extremely well, however some care against it given that it privileges assigned intercourse over identified intercourse.

Non-binary individual: an individual who identifies not in the female/male binary, i.e., will not solely recognize as a female or as a person. A term that is alternate “genderqueer. ”

Favored Language of Sex

Whenever currently talking about a transgender individual, usage nouns and pronouns in keeping with the individual’s sex identification, no matter intercourse at delivery. Whenever possible, utilize the pronoun preferred by that individual (ex: someone who was created male but identifies as feminine would make use of the pronoun “she. ”)

  • “Transgender” is an adjective, therefore don’t use “transgender” as being a noun. Utilization of the term “transsexual” is normally frustrated.
  • Steer clear of the term sex that is“opposite” which implies strong differences when considering sexes. Utilize “other sex. ”
  • Avoid“man” that is using “mankind” to mention to all of mankind. Options: people, humankind, people, individuals.
  • Specify the intercourse of a professional (ex: girl medical practitioner, male nursing assistant). Only if required to your conversation.
  • Utilize termsfor that is gender-neutral whenever possible (ex: postal worker in place of mailman, firefighter in the place of fireman, homemaker in place of housewife).
  • Utilising the expression “he or she” or alternating sex pronouns is acceptable, but decreases quality. Because ‘they’ is plural, don’t use ‘they’ rather than the gendered single pronouns, ‘he, she. ’ preferably, rephrase the phrase in order to avoid sex pronouns.
  • Some trans people, and certain procedures such as Queer Studies, use other gender basic pronouns such as for instance “ze” (replaces “he/she”) and “hirself” (replaces “himself/herself”). Sometimes “they/them/their” is utilized to a person. Make use of them when you look at the appropriate contexts, and constantly select the pronoun that folks used to explain on their own.

Methods of Avoid Gender Pronouns through the APA General instructions for Reducing Bias, with examples through the APA tips for impartial Language: test problematic sentence: the customer is often the most useful judge regarding the worth of their guidance.

  • Rephrase the phrase to eradicate gender pronoun.
    • Preferred: The most readily useful judge for the value of guidance is often the client.
  • Use plural pronouns.
    • Preferred: Consumers are the very best judges regarding the worth of these guidance.
  • Substitute a possessive pronoun with a write-up.
    • Preferred: customers are often the most effective judges of this value of a guidance session.
  • Omit the pronoun.
    • Preferred: Consumers usually are the greatest judges of this value of guidance.

Recommendations, language of gender: • APA Guidelines for impartial Language: http: //supp. Pdf • GLAAD Media Reference Guide: http: //www. • nationwide Center for Transgender Equality: http: //www.


Instead of an individual’s gender, intimate orientation (never “sexual preference”) pertains to the sex one is drawn to (actually, romantically, emotionally). Make reference to the terms that are following identities, never as“lifestyles. ”

Gay: adj. To spell it out some body interested in folks of the gender that is same. Utilize “gay men, ” or, to add people, “gay individuals. ” AVOID “homosexual, ” as it was utilized derogatively in past times.

Lesbian: adj. To spell it out ladies who are drawn to other females. “Lesbian” can be utilized being a noun; some ladies additionally identify as “gay women. ” Become clear you might be including men and women, you may utilize men that are“gay women” or “gay guys and lesbians” in place of “gay individuals. ”

Bisexual: adj. To explain somebody who could be drawn to people of their own sex or any other. Plural type is “bisexual individuals. ”

Same-sex: can be utilized being an adj. To change terms like “couple“marriage or”. ” It is more accurate and inclusive than “gay” or “lesbian” as it can certainly make reference to either sex and includes bisexual individuals in same-sex relationships.

Heterosexual: adj. To spell it out somebody who is drawn to individuals of other genders. “Straight” is appropriate but reasonably casual.

LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. This acronym is oftentimes utilized to refer to any or all of those individuals as a bunch. Utilize an acronym as long as you simply cannot be much more particular. Remember that it provides transgender individuals, who is able to have orientation that is sexual. If you would like refer and then those who are maybe maybe not heterosexual, try not to through the “T. ” additionally be conscious that there isn’t an individual, all-encompassing LGBT experience or worldview; you may acknowledge this by utilizing a phrase like “some people of the LGBT community. ” Other letters I(“intersex”), or A (“asexual” or sometimes “allies”) that you might see on the end of this acronym are Q (“queer” or “questioning”),.

Intimate minorities: might be utilized to non-heterosexual individuals. This term is certainly not in extensive usage, therefore define how you’re utilizing it the very first time it seems.

Queer: adj. That is used by some LGBT individuals, it is maybe perhaps not universally accepted given that it has been utilized derogatively in past times. Avoid this term until you understand the individual you’re authoring self-identifies as “queer. ”


Publication handbook associated with the United states Psychological Association, 6th version. Washington, DC: United States Emotional Association. 2010. Print. Serano, Julia. Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism in addition to Scapegoating of Femininity. Ny: Seal Press, 2007. Printing

The writers for this handout, M.E. Ficarra ’15, Olivia Valcarce ’15, and Sharon Williams, composing Center Director, acknowledge listed here because of their aid in developing this handout: Krista Hesdorfer ’14; Amit Taneja, Director of Diversity & Inclusion; Allen Harrison, Assistant Dean of pupils for International Students and Accessibility; and Professors Joyce Barry, Benjamin DiCicco-Bloom, Cara Jones, and Yvonne Zylan.

Even as we have stated, language is complex and evolving. The writing Center if you have suggestions for revisions to this handout, please contact.

Share away!

Leave a Reply

Don't be selfish now. Share with your friends :P