This handout is an attempt to aid guide authors into the selection of appropriate language to utilize whenever currently talking about groups of individuals

General advice:

  • Assume an audience that is wide and consider the effectation of the terms you employ on your own market. Perform some terms imply a judgment? Would be the terms very likely to offend? In that case, rephrase.
  • Simply just just Take duty for the language alternatives. The very first time making use of a term that could be misinterpreted/considered improper, include a rationale for the option, such as for instance with the addition of a footnote that especially describes the expression 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 speaking about that sex for the reason that career. Distinctions should always be noted only once appropriate.
  • Prevent terms that evaluate, that may 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 the place of on a technique 1 indian brides of categorization: “people with mental disease” as opposed to “the mentally ill. ”
  • Whenever talking about some topics, you may 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 exactly exactly what language to utilize, check with your teacher, classmates, and present educational readings in the control, which may very well make use of terms appropriate into the control.


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

Gender: category of an individual as female or male centered on social or characteristics that are cultural.

Transgender: an adjective describing those whoever sex identification or phrase will not match the biological intercourse they were 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 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 bigger transgender umbrella term.

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

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

Transgender guy: 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 not in the female/male binary, i.e., will not solely determine as a female 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 gender identification, irrespective of intercourse at delivery. Whenever possible, use the pronoun preferred by that each (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 normally frustrated.
  • Steer clear of the term sex that is“opposite” which implies strong differences when considering sexes. Utilize sex that is“other. ”
  • Avoid“man” that is using “mankind” to mention to all of mankind. Options: people, humankind, people, individuals.
  • Specify the sex of a professional (ex: girl medical practitioner, male nursing assistant). Only if required towards the conversation.
  • Utilize termsfor that is gender-neutral whenever possible (ex: postal worker as opposed to mailman, firefighter rather than fireman, homemaker rather than housewife).
  • Utilising the expression “he or she” or alternating sex pronouns is appropriate, but decreases quality. Because ‘they’ is plural, do not use ‘they’ rather than the gendered single pronouns, ‘he, she. ’ preferably, rephrase the phrase to prevent sex pronouns.
  • Some trans individuals, and disciplines that are specific as Queer Studies, use other gender neutral pronouns such as for instance “ze” (replaces “he/she”) and “hirself” (replaces “himself/herself”). Sometimes “they/them/their” is utilized to someone. Utilize them into the appropriate contexts, and constantly pick the pronoun that individuals used to explain by themselves.

Methods of Avoid Gender Pronouns through the APA General instructions for Reducing Bias, with examples through the APA recommendations for Unbiased Language: test problematic phrase: your client is often the judge that is best of this value of their guidance.

  • Rephrase the phrase to get rid of gender pronoun.
    • Preferred: The most readily useful judge for the value of guidance is often the customer.
  • Make use of plural pronouns.
    • Preferred: Consumers usually are the greatest judges associated with value of these guidance.
  • Replace a pronoun that is possessive a write-up.
    • Preferred: Consumers usually are the very best judges regarding the worth of a guidance session.
  • Omit the pronoun.
    • Preferred: Consumers are often the very best judges associated with worth of guidance.

Recommendations, language of gender: • APA Guidelines for Unbiased 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 a person is drawn to (actually, romantically, emotionally). Make reference to the terms that are following identities, never as“lifestyles. ”

Gay: adj. To explain some body interested in folks of the exact same sex. Make use of “gay men, ” or, to add gents and ladies, “gay individuals. ” AVOID “homosexual, ” as it’s been utilized derogatively in past times.

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

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

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

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

LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. This acronym is actually utilized to refer to any or all of the social individuals as an organization. Make use of an acronym as long as you simply cannot become more certain. Keep in mind that it provides transgender individuals, who are able to have orientation that is sexual. If you’d like to refer and then folks who are maybe perhaps not heterosexual, usually do not through the “T. ” additionally be conscious that there isn’t an individual, all-encompassing LGBT experience or worldview; you may 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”),.

Sexual minorities: might be used to people that are non-heterosexual. This term just isn’t in extensive usage, therefore define how you’re utilizing it the time that is first seems.

Queer: adj. Which has been used by some LGBT individuals, it is 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 handbook associated with the United states Psychological Association, 6th version. Washington, DC: United States Emotional Association. 2010. Print. Serano, Julia. Whipping Girl: A Transsexual girl on Sexism in addition to Scapegoating of Femininity. Nyc: Seal Press, 2007. Print

The writers of the handout, M.E. Ficarra ’15, Olivia Valcarce ’15, and Sharon Williams, Writing Center Director, acknowledge the next with 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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