This handout is an endeavor to greatly help guide article writers within the range of appropriate language to utilize 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 employ on the market. Perform some terms imply a judgment? Would be the terms prone to offend? In that case, rephrase.
  • Just simply Take obligation for the language choices. The time that is first a term that could be misinterpreted/considered inappropriate, come with a rationale for the option, such as for example with the addition of a footnote that particularly describes the definition of for the purposes and context.
  • Just use the language this is certainly required to the context: usage “female firefighters” only when you’re particularly speaking about that gender for the reason that career. Differences should always be noted only if appropriate.
  • Prevent terms that evaluate, which may indicate inferiority/superiority, such as for example “low course. ”
  • Utilize the appropriate level of specificity: “Dominicans” in place of “Hispanics. ”
  • Concentrate on people in place of on an approach of categorization: “people with psychological disease” as opposed to “the mentally sick. ”
  • Whenever talking about some topics, you might need certainly to utilize dated terminology in speaking about the topic in historic context, but utilize modern language in your analysis.

If not sure of just exactly what language to utilize, check with your teacher, classmates, and present readings that are academic the control, which may very well utilize terms appropriate into the control.


Intercourse: category of someone as female or male according to biological faculties (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 biological sex they had been assigned at delivery. A transgender person may or may well 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 numerous identities that are different beneath the bigger transgender umbrella term.

Cisgender: an adjective explaining a non-transgender individual – 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 care it privileges assigned sex over identified sex against it because.

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

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

Favored Language of Gender

Whenever currently talking about a transgender individual, usage nouns and pronouns in keeping with the individual’s sex identification, aside from intercourse at delivery. Whenever possible, make use of the pronoun preferred by that each (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 a noun. Utilization of the term “transsexual” is normally frustrated.
  • Steer clear of the term “opposite intercourse, ” which implies strong differences when considering sexes. Utilize “other sex. ”
  • Avoid “man” or “mankind” to mention to all the of mankind. Options: people, humankind, people, individuals.
  • Specify the sex of the professional (ex: girl medical practitioner, male nursing assistant). Only if required into the conversation.
  • Utilize gender-neutral termsfor vocations when feasible (ex: postal worker in the place of mailman, firefighter in the place of fireman, homemaker as opposed to housewife).
  • With the expression “he or she” or alternating sex pronouns is appropriate, but decreases quality. Because ‘they’ is plural, don’t use ‘they’ as opposed to the gendered singular pronouns, ‘he, she. ’ Preferably, rephrase the phrase in order to prevent sex pronouns.
  • Some trans people, and disciplines that are specific as Queer Studies, use other gender basic pronouns such as “ze” (replaces “he/she”) and “hirself” (replaces “himself/herself”). Sometimes “they/them/their” is utilized to a person. Utilize them into the contexts that are appropriate and constantly pick 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 from the APA instructions for impartial Language: Sample problematic phrase: the customer is often the judge that is best for the worth of their guidance.

  • Rephrase the phrase to eliminate sex pronoun.
    • Preferred: The judge that is best associated with value of guidance is often the customer.
  • Make use of plural pronouns.
    • Preferred: customers are often the very best judges of this value of their guidance.
  • Substitute a pronoun that is possessive articles.
    • Preferred: customers are often the most effective judges associated with the value of a guidance session.
  • Omit the pronoun.
    • Preferred: Consumers usually are the greatest judges for the value of counseling.

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


Rather than an individual’s gender, intimate orientation (never “sexual preference”) pertains to the gender a person 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 drawn to folks of the gender that is same. Utilize “gay men, ” or, to incorporate women and men, “gay individuals. ” AVOID “homosexual, ” as it’s been utilized derogatively in past times.

Lesbian: adj. To explain ladies who are attracted to other females. “Lesbian” can be utilized being a noun; some ladies additionally identify as “gay ladies. ” Become clear you might be including men and women, you could make use of men that are“gay women” or “gay men and lesbians” in place of “gay individuals. ”

Bisexual: adj. To explain an individual who could be drawn to individuals of their gender that is own or. Plural kind is “bisexual individuals. ”

Same-sex: may be used being an adj. To modify terms like “couple“marriage or”. ” It is more accurate and comprehensive than “gay” or “lesbian” as it can certainly relate to either gender and includes people that are bisexual same-sex relationships.

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

LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. This acronym is actually utilized to mention to any or all among these individuals as a bunch. Make use of an acronym as long as you can not be much more certain. Keep in mind that it includes transgender individuals, who can have any orientation that is sexual. Should you want to refer and then people that are maybe maybe not heterosexual, usually do not are the “T. ” Additionally be mindful that there isn’t an individual, all-encompassing LGBT experience or worldview; you could acknowledge this through the 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: might be used to people that are non-heterosexual. This term is certainly not in extensive usage, therefore define how you’re deploying it the very first time it seems.

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


Publication Manual for the United states Psychological Association, 6th version. Washington, DC: United States Emotional Association. 2010. Print. Serano, Julia. Whipping Girl: A Transsexual girl on Sexism therefore the Scapegoating of Femininity. Ny: Seal Press, 2007. Print

The authors of the handout, M.E. Ficarra ’15, Olivia Valcarce ’15, and Sharon Williams, composing Center Director, acknowledge the next for his or her assist 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.

Once we have actually stated, language is complex and evolving. When you yourself have recommendations for revisions for this handout, please contact the composing Center.