This handout is an attempt to aid guide article writers when you look at the range of acceptable language to utilize whenever currently talking about groups of individuals

This handout is an attempt to aid guide article writers when you look at the range of acceptable language to utilize whenever currently talking about groups of individuals

General advice:

  • Assume a broad market, and consider the aftereffect of the terms you employ on your own market. Perform some terms imply a judgment? Would be the terms expected to offend? In that case, rephrase.
  • Just Take obligation for the language alternatives. The time that is first a term that would be misinterpreted/considered improper, add a rationale for the option, such as for instance by the addition of a footnote that especially describes the definition of for the purposes and context.
  • Only use the language that is required to the context: use “female firefighters” only when you might be especially talking about that gender for the reason that career. Differences should really be noted only if appropriate.
  • Avoid terms that evaluate, that might indicate inferiority/superiority, such as for example “low course. ”
  • Make use of the appropriate level of specificity: “Dominicans” instead of “Hispanics.
  • Concentrate on people in the place of on an approach of categorization: “people with psychological disease” as opposed to “the mentally ill. ”
  • Whenever speaking about some topics, you might need certainly to utilize dated terminology in talking about the topic in historic context, but utilize modern language in your analysis.

If uncertain of just just what language to make use of, check with your professor, classmates, and present readings that are academic the discipline, which may very well make use of terms appropriate into the control.


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

Gender: category of an individual as female or male considering social or social traits.

Transgender: an adjective describing those whoever sex identification or phrase will not match the biological intercourse they had been assigned at birth. A transgender individual may or might not go through hormone therapy or intercourse reassignment surgery, and intervention that is medical considered only one element of a more substantial change procedure. Can be reduced to “trans” or “trans*” in certain circumstances. The asterisk emphasizes that numerous 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 female. The abbreviation MTF (male-to-female) can be used, however some care it privileges assigned sex over identified sex against it because.

Transgender guy: a person assigned female 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 person: somebody who identifies not in the female/male binary, i.e., will not solely determine as a lady or as a guy. A term that is alternate “genderqueer. ”

Favored Language of Sex

When currently talking about a transgender individual, usage nouns and pronouns in keeping with the individual’s sex identification, no matter sex at birth. Whenever possible, make use of the pronoun preferred by that each (ex: an individual who was created 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 typically discouraged.
  • Steer clear of the term sex that is“opposite” which implies strong differences when considering sexes. Make use of “other sex. ”
  • Avoid“man” that is using “mankind” to refer to all the of mankind. Options: people, humankind, people, individuals.
  • Specify the intercourse of the professional (ex: girl physician, male nursing assistant). Only if required to your discussion.
  • Utilize gender-neutral termsfor vocations whenever possible (ex: postal worker as opposed to mailman, firefighter rather than fireman, homemaker rather than housewife).
  • Utilizing the expression “he or she” or alternating gender 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 phrase in order to avoid sex pronouns.
  • Some trans people, and disciplines that are specific 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. Utilize them when you look at the appropriate contexts, and constantly select the pronoun that folks used to explain by themselves.

Ways of Avoid Gender Pronouns through the APA General tips for Reducing Bias, with examples through the APA recommendations for Unbiased Language: test problematic phrase: your client is often the most useful judge for the worth of their guidance.

  • Rephrase the phrase to remove sex pronoun.
    • Preferred: The most useful judge regarding the worth of guidance is often the customer.
  • Make use of plural pronouns.
    • Preferred: Consumers are often the very best judges regarding the worth of the guidance.
  • Substitute a pronoun that is possessive articles.
    • Preferred: customers are often the very best judges regarding the worth of a guidance session.
  • Omit the pronoun.
    • Preferred: customers are often the very best judges regarding the worth of guidance.

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.


In place of an individual’s gender, intimate orientation (NOT “sexual preference”) relates to the sex one is drawn to (physically, romantically, emotionally). Reference the after terms as identities, never as“lifestyles. ”

Gay: adj. To explain some body drawn to folks of the exact same sex. Use “gay men, ” or, to incorporate gents and ladies, “gay individuals. ” AVOID “homosexual, ” as it is often used derogatively within the past.

Lesbian: adj. To spell it out women that are drawn to other females. “Lesbian” can be utilized being a noun; some females additionally identify as “gay ladies. ” To be clear you will be including both women and men, you could utilize men that are“gay women” or “gay men and lesbians” rather than “gay individuals. ”

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

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

Heterosexual: adj. To spell it out 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 usually utilized to refer to all the among these individuals as friends. Make use of an acronym as long as you simply can’t be much more particular. Observe that it provides transgender individuals, who are able to have any intimate orientation. Should you want to refer simply to those who are perhaps perhaps 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 by making use of a phrase like “some members 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: could possibly be used to non-heterosexual individuals. This term just isn’t in extensive usage, so define how you’re deploying it the very first time it seems.

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


Publication handbook associated with the United states Psychological Association, 6th version. Washington, DC: United States Psychological Association. 2010. Print. Serano, Julia. Whipping Girl: A Transsexual girl on Sexism and also the Scapegoating of Femininity. Nyc: Seal Press, 2007. Print

The writers for this handout, M.E. Ficarra ’15, Olivia Valcarce ’15, and Sharon Williams, composing Center Director, acknowledge listed here because of their 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.

Even as we have actually stated, language singles brides is evolving and complex. When you have recommendations for revisions to the handout, please contact the composing Center.