This handout is an endeavor to aid guide authors into the range of appropriate language to utilize whenever currently talking about groups of men and women

General advice:

  • Assume a wide market, and consider the effectation of the terms you employ on your own market. Perform some terms imply a judgment? Will be the terms more likely to offend? If that’s the case, rephrase.
  • Just simply simply Take obligation for your language alternatives. The time that is first a term that would be misinterpreted/considered improper, come with a rationale for the option, such as for instance by the addition of a footnote that specifically describes the expression for the purposes and context.
  • Only use the language that is required to the context: usage “female firefighters” only when you may be specifically speaking about that sex for the reason that occupation. Distinctions ought to be noted only once appropriate.
  • Avoid terms that evaluate, which may imply inferiority/superiority, such as for instance “low course. ”
  • Utilize the degree that is appropriate of: “Dominicans” in place of “Hispanics.
  • Concentrate on individuals in place of on a technique of categorization: “people with psychological disease” as opposed to “the mentally sick. ”
  • Whenever talking about some topics, you may need certainly to utilize dated terminology in talking about the niche in historic context, but utilize modern language in your analysis.

If not sure of exactly just what language to make use of, check with your teacher, classmates, and present educational readings in the control, which may very well use terms appropriate into the control.


Intercourse: category of an individual as female or male predicated on biological faculties (intercourse chromosomes, hormones, mail order wife org reproductive systems).

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

Transgender: an adjective describing those whoever sex identification or phrase will not match the sex that is biological had been assigned at birth. A transgender individual may or might not go through hormones therapy or sex reassignment surgery, and intervention that is medical considered only one element of a bigger change procedure. Could be reduced to “trans” or “trans*” in certain circumstances. The asterisk emphasizes that lots of identities that are different beneath the larger transgender umbrella term.

Cisgender: an adjective explaining a non-transgender individual – 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 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 feminine at delivery but who lives and identifies as a person. The abbreviation FTM (female-to-male) works extremely well, many care it privileges assigned sex over identified sex against it because.

Non-binary individual: an individual who identifies not in the female/male binary, i.e., will not solely recognize as a female or as a guy. A alternative term is “genderqueer. ”

Favored Language of Sex

Whenever authoring a transgender individual, use 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 each (ex: an individual who was created male but identifies as female 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 discouraged.
  • Steer clear of the term “opposite intercourse, ” which implies strong differences when considering sexes. Make use of “other sex. ”
  • Avoid“man” that is using “mankind” to mention to any or all of mankind. Options: people, humankind, individuals, individuals.
  • Specify the intercourse of the professional (ex: girl physician, male nursing assistant). Only if required into the conversation.
  • Utilize gender-neutral termsfor occupations whenever possible (ex: postal worker as opposed to mailman, firefighter in place of fireman, homemaker in place of housewife).
  • Utilising 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 disciplines 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. Utilize them into the contexts that are appropriate and constantly pick the pronoun that individuals used to explain by themselves.

Ways of Avoid Gender Pronouns through the APA General recommendations for Reducing Bias, with examples through the APA Guidelines for impartial Language: test problematic phrase: your client is often the most useful judge associated with value of their counseling.

  • Rephrase the phrase to eradicate sex pronoun.
    • Preferred: The judge that is best regarding the value of guidance is often the client.
  • Make use of plural pronouns.
    • Preferred: customers are the greatest judges associated with worth of their guidance.
  • Replace a pronoun that is possessive a write-up.
    • Preferred: customers are often the most effective judges associated with worth of a guidance session.
  • Omit the pronoun.
    • Preferred: customers are often the very best judges regarding the value of guidance.

Recommendations, 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 (never “sexual preference”) pertains to the sex one is drawn to (physically, romantically, emotionally). Relate to the after terms as identities, never as“lifestyles. ”

Gay: adj. To spell it out someone interested in folks of the exact same gender. Make use of “gay men, ” or, to incorporate both women and men, “gay individuals. ” AVOID “homosexual, ” as it’s been utilized derogatively into the past.

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

Bisexual: adj. To explain somebody who could be interested in folks of their own sex or any other. Plural kind is “bisexual people. ”

Same-sex: can be utilized as an adj. To modify terms like “couple“marriage or”. ” 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 somebody who is interested in folks of other genders. “Straight” is appropriate but reasonably casual.

LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. This acronym is oftentimes utilized to refer to any or all of the social people as friends. Make use of an acronym as long as you can’t become more particular. Observe that it provides transgender individuals, who is able to have intimate orientation. Should you want to refer and then folks who are maybe maybe not heterosexual, usually do not range from the “T. ” additionally be mindful that there isn’t an individual, all-encompassing LGBT experience or worldview; you could acknowledge this simply by using a phrase like “some people of the LGBT community. ” Other letters that you could see regarding the end for this acronym are Q (“queer” or “questioning”), I (“intersex”), or even a (“asexual” or often “allies”).

Intimate minorities: could possibly be utilized to non-heterosexual individuals. This term is certainly not in extensive usage, therefore define how you’re utilizing it the very first time it seems.

Queer: adj. That is used by some LGBT individuals, it is perhaps not universally accepted since it has been utilized derogatively in past times. Avoid this term until you understand the individual you’re writing about self-identifies as “queer. ”


Publication handbook associated with American Psychological Association, 6th version. Washington, DC: American Emotional Association. 2010. Print. Serano, Julia. Whipping Girl: A Transsexual girl on Sexism as well as the Scapegoating of Femininity. Ny: 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 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 said, language is complex and evolving. The writing Center if you have suggestions for revisions to this handout, please contact.

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