This handout is an attempt to aid guide authors into the selection of appropriate language to utilize when authoring groups of men and women.

This handout is an attempt to aid guide authors into the selection of appropriate language to utilize when authoring groups of men and women.

General advice:

  • Assume a broad market, and consider the aftereffect of the terms you utilize on your own market. Perform some terms imply a judgment? Would be the terms more likely to offend? In that case, rephrase.
  • Simply simply Take obligation for the language alternatives. The very first time making use of a term that could be misinterpreted/considered improper, add a rationale for the option, such as for instance with the addition of a footnote that especially describes the word for the purposes and context.
  • Only use the language that is required to the context: usage “female firefighters” only when you’re especially talking about that sex for the reason that occupation. Distinctions must certanly be noted only once appropriate.
  • Prevent terms that evaluate, which may indicate inferiority/superiority, such as for example “low course.”
  • Make use of the appropriate level of specificity: “Dominicans” as opposed to “Hispanics.”
  • Give attention to individuals in the place of on an approach of categorization: “people with psychological disease” as opposed to “the mentally sick.”
  • Whenever talking about some topics, you may have to utilize dated terminology in talking about the niche in historic context, but utilize modern language in your analysis.

If uncertain of exactly just just what language to utilize, consult your teacher, classmates, and present educational readings in the discipline, which may very well utilize terms appropriate into the control.


Intercourse: category of an individual as female or male centered on biological traits (intercourse chromosomes, hormones, reproductive systems).

Gender: category of an individual as female or male predicated on 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 just one single element of a bigger change procedure. Might be reduced to “trans” or “trans*” in certain circumstances. The asterisk emphasizes that lots of identities that are different underneath the larger transgender umbrella term.

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

Transgender girl: someone assigned male at delivery but who lives and identifies as a lady. The abbreviation MTF (male-to-female) works extremely well, however some caution it privileges assigned sex over identified sex against it because.

Transgender guy: someone assigned feminine at birth but who lives and identifies as a person. The abbreviation FTM (female-to-male) can be utilized, however some care against it since it privileges assigned intercourse over identified intercourse.

Non-binary individual: somebody who identifies not in the female/male binary, i.e., doesn’t solely recognize as a lady or as a person. a alternative term is “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 each (ex: somebody who was born male but identifies as feminine would utilize the pronoun “she.”)

  • “Transgender” is an adjective, therefore don’t use “transgender” as being a noun. Utilization of the term “transsexual” is normally frustrated.
  • Prevent the term “opposite intercourse,” which implies strong differences when considering sexes. Make use of “other sex.”
  • Avoid “man” or “mankind” to mention to all the of mankind. Options: people, humankind, individuals, individuals.
  • Specify the intercourse of the professional (ex: girl physician, male nursing assistant).only if required towards the conversation.
  • Utilize gender-neutral termsfor professions whenever possible (ex: postal worker in the place of mailman, firefighter rather than fireman, homemaker in the place of housewife).
  • Utilising the phrase “he or she” or alternating sex pronouns is appropriate, but decreases quality. Because ‘they’ is plural, don’t use ‘they’ rather than the gendered single pronouns, ‘he, she.’ preferably, rephrase the sentence in order to avoid sex pronouns.
  • Some trans people, and specific 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 in the contexts that are appropriate and constantly select the pronoun that individuals used to explain on their own.

Ways of Avoid Gender Pronouns through the APA General tips for Reducing Bias, with examples through the APA tips for impartial Language: test problematic phrase: the customer is usually the judge that is best for the worth of his guidance.

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


In the place of an individual’s gender, intimate orientation (NOT “sexual preference”) pertains to the sex a person is attracted to (actually, romantically, emotionally). Relate to the after terms as identities, never as“lifestyles.”

Gay: adj. to spell it out some body interested in folks of the exact same sex. Make use of “gay men,” or, to add both women and men, “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” may be used as being a noun; some women additionally identify as “gay ladies.” Become clear you’re including both women and men, you could utilize men that are“gay ladies” or “gay guys and lesbians” rather than “gay people.”

Bisexual: adj. to explain a person who could be drawn to individuals of their very own sex or any other. Plural kind is “bisexual individuals.”

Same-sex: may be used as an adj. to change terms like “couple” or “marriage.” It’s more accurate and inclusive than “gay” or “lesbian” as it could relate to either sex and includes people that are bisexual same-sex relationships.

Heterosexual: adj. to explain an individual who is drawn to individuals of other genders. “Straight” is appropriate but reasonably casual.

LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. This acronym is frequently utilized to refer to all of the social individuals as a bunch. Make use of an acronym as long as you simply can’t become more certain. Keep in mind that it provides transgender individuals, who is able to have intimate orientation. If you’d like to refer simply to people that are maybe maybe maybe not heterosexual, try not to through the “T.” additionally be mindful that there isn’t an individual, all-encompassing LGBT experience or worldview; you may acknowledge this making use of 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 just isn’t in extensive usage, so define how you’re utilizing it the time that is first seems.

Queer: adj. that’s been used by some LGBT individuals, but is perhaps perhaps maybe 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 regarding the United states Psychological Association, 6th version. Washington, DC: United States Emotional Association. 2010. Print. Serano, Julia. Whipping Girl: A Transsexual girl on Sexism while the Scapegoating of Femininity. Ny: Seal Press, 2007. Printing

The writers of the handout, M.E. Ficarra ’15, Olivia Valcarce ’15, and Sharon Williams, mexican dating 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 actually stated, language is complex and evolving. The writing Center if you have suggestions for revisions to this handout, please contact.

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