This handout is an attempt to simply help guide article writers within the range of acceptable language to make use of whenever currently talking about groups of men and women.

This handout is an attempt to simply help guide article writers within the range of acceptable language to make use of whenever currently talking about groups of men and women.

General advice:

  • Assume an audience that is wide and consider the aftereffect of the terms you utilize in your market. Perform some terms imply a judgment? Would be the terms prone to offend? In that case, rephrase.
  • Simply simply Take duty for your language alternatives. The very first time making use of a term that would be misinterpreted/considered improper, consist of a rationale for the option, such as for example with the addition of a footnote that especially describes the expression for the purposes and context.
  • Just use the language that is required to the context: usage “female firefighters” only when you will be particularly speaking about that sex for the reason that career. Distinctions ought to be noted only if appropriate.
  • Avoid terms that evaluate, which may indicate inferiority/superiority, such as for example “low course.”
  • Make use of the degree that is appropriate of: “Dominicans” instead of “Hispanics.”
  • Give attention to individuals instead of on a technique of categorization: “people with psychological disease” as opposed to “the mentally sick.”
  • When speaking about some topics, you might want to utilize dated terminology in talking about the topic in historic context, but use modern language in your analysis.

If uncertain of exactly exactly just what language to make use of, consult your teacher, classmates, and present scholastic readings in the control, which may very well make use of terms appropriate towards the control.


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

Gender: classification of a person 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 had been assigned at delivery. A transgender individual may or might not go through hormones therapy or intercourse reassignment surgery, and medical intervention is considered only one section of a more substantial change procedure. are shortened to “trans” or “trans*” in certain circumstances. The asterisk emphasizes that lots of identities that are different under the bigger transgender umbrella term.

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

Transgender girl: an individual assigned male at delivery but who lives and identifies as a female. The abbreviation MTF (male-to-female) can be utilized, many care it privileges assigned sex over identified sex against it because.

Transgender guy: someone assigned have a glimpse at the link feminine at delivery but who lives and identifies as a person. The abbreviation FTM (female-to-male) works extremely well, but some care it privileges assigned sex over identified sex against it because.

Non-binary individual: somebody who identifies not in the female/male binary, i.e., doesn’t exclusively recognize as a lady or as a person. a alternative term is “genderqueer.”

Favored Language of Gender

Whenever currently talking about a transgender person, usage nouns and pronouns in line with the individual’s sex identification, no matter intercourse at delivery. Whenever possible, make use of the pronoun preferred by that individual (ex: an individual 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 a noun. Utilization of the term “transsexual” is usually frustrated.
  • Steer clear of the term “opposite intercourse,” which implies strong differences when considering sexes. Make use of sex that is“other.”
  • Stay away from “man” or “mankind” to mention to all of mankind. Options: people, humankind, individuals, people.
  • Specify the intercourse of the professional (ex: girl medical practitioner, male nurse).only if required towards the conversation.
  • Utilize gender-neutral termsfor vocations whenever possible (ex: postal worker in place of mailman, firefighter in place of fireman, homemaker rather than housewife).
  • Utilizing the expression “he or she” or alternating sex pronouns is appropriate, but decreases quality. Because ‘they’ is plural, don’t use ‘they’ instead of the gendered single pronouns, ‘he, she.’ Preferably, rephrase the phrase in order to avoid sex pronouns.
  • Some trans people, and particular 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 someone. Make use of them in 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 recommendations for Reducing Bias, with examples through the APA tips for impartial Language: test problematic phrase: your client is often the judge that is best associated with the value of their guidance.

  • Rephrase the phrase to remove sex pronoun.
    • Preferred: The judge that is best associated with the value of counseling is often the customer.
  • Utilize plural pronouns.
    • Preferred: customers usually are the greatest judges regarding the worth of the guidance.
  • Substitute a pronoun that is possessive a write-up.
    • Preferred: customers are often the greatest judges of this value of a guidance session.
  • Omit the pronoun.
    • Preferred: Consumers usually are the most effective judges of this worth of guidance.


In the place of an individual’s gender, sexual orientation (NOT “sexual preference”) pertains to the sex one is drawn to (actually, romantically, emotionally). Relate to the terms that are following identities, NOT as“lifestyles.”

Gay: adj. to explain some body interested in folks of the same sex. Utilize “gay men,” or, to add women and men, “gay people.” AVOID “homosexual,” as it was utilized derogatively within the past.

Lesbian: adj. to explain women that are interested in other females. “Lesbian” can be utilized as a noun; some females additionally identify as “gay females.” Become clear you will be including both women and men, you may make use of men that are“gay women” or “gay guys and lesbians” rather than “gay individuals.”

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

Same-sex: may be used being an adj. to change terms like “couple” or “marriage.” It’s more accurate and comprehensive 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 an individual who is interested in folks of other genders. “Straight” is appropriate but fairly informal.

LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. This acronym is generally utilized to mention to any or all of those social individuals as a bunch. Make use of an acronym only when you simply can’t become more certain. Observe that it provides transgender individuals, who are able to have intimate orientation. If you would like refer and then folks who are perhaps maybe not heterosexual, usually do not are the “T.” additionally be conscious that there isn’t an individual, all-encompassing LGBT experience or worldview; you could acknowledge this making use of a phrase like “some people in 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: could possibly be used to people that are non-heterosexual. This term just isn’t in widespread usage, therefore define how you’re utilizing it the time that is first seems.

Queer: adj. that is used by some LGBT individuals, it is perhaps maybe not universally accepted as 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 regarding the United states Psychological Association, 6th version. Washington, DC: United States Psychological Association. 2010. Print. Serano, Julia. Whipping Girl: A Transsexual girl on Sexism therefore the Scapegoating of Femininity. Nyc: 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 with regards to 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 actually stated, language is evolving and complex. The writing Center if you have suggestions for revisions to this handout, please contact.

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