This handout is an attempt to aid guide authors into the selection of appropriate language to make use of whenever authoring groups of individuals

General advice:

  • Assume an extensive market, and consider the aftereffect of the terms you employ in your market. Perform some terms imply a judgment? Would be the terms more likely to offend? If that’s the case, rephrase.
  • Simply Take duty for the 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 example by the addition of a footnote that especially describes the definition of for the purposes and context.
  • Just use the language this is certainly essential to the context: usage “female firefighters” only when you might be particularly speaking about that sex for the reason that career. Distinctions must be noted only if appropriate.
  • Prevent terms that evaluate, that may indicate inferiority/superiority, such as for instance “low course. ”
  • Utilize the appropriate level of specificity: “Dominicans” as opposed to “Hispanics. ”
  • Concentrate on individuals in the place of on a technique of categorization: “people with psychological disease” as opposed to “the mentally ill. ”
  • Whenever speaking about some topics, you may need certainly to utilize dated terminology in talking about the topic in historical context, but utilize modern language in your analysis.

If uncertain of just exactly what language to make use of, check with your teacher, classmates, and present scholastic readings in the control, which will probably make use of terms appropriate towards the control.


Intercourse: category of an individual as man or woman predicated on biological traits (intercourse chromosomes, hormones, reproductive systems).

Gender: classification of a person as female or male centered on social or cultural traits.

Transgender: an adjective describing those whose sex identification or phrase will not match the sex that is biological had been assigned at delivery. A transgender individual may or may well not undergo hormones treatment or intercourse reassignment surgery, and intervention that is medical considered only one section of a more substantial change procedure. Could be shortened to “trans” or “trans*” in certain circumstances. The asterisk emphasizes that numerous various identities fall underneath the bigger transgender umbrella term.

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

Transgender woman: someone assigned male at delivery but who lives and identifies as a female. The abbreviation MTF (male-to-female) can be utilized, however some care against it as it privileges assigned intercourse over identified intercourse.

Transgender guy: a person assigned feminine at birth but who lives and identifies as a person. 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: someone who identifies not in the female/male binary, i.e., will not exclusively determine 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 line with the individual’s sex identification, no matter intercourse at delivery. Whenever possible, utilize the pronoun preferred by that each (ex: somebody who was created male but identifies as feminine would utilize the pronoun “she. ”)

  • “Transgender” is an adjective, therefore don’t use “transgender” as a noun. Utilization of the term “transsexual” is normally frustrated.
  • Prevent the term sex that is“opposite” which implies strong differences when considering sexes. Make use of sex that is“other. ”
  • Avoid“man” that is using “mankind” to refer to any or all of mankind. Options: people, humankind, individuals, individuals.
  • Specify the intercourse of a professional (ex: girl physician, male nursing assistant). Only if required to your conversation.
  • Utilize termsfor that is gender-neutral whenever feasible (ex: postal worker as opposed to mailman, firefighter in the place of fireman, homemaker as opposed to housewife).
  • Utilizing 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 phrase in order to avoid sex pronouns.
  • Some trans people, and particular 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 someone. Utilize them into the appropriate contexts, and always select the pronoun that individuals used to explain on their own.

Ways of Avoid Gender Pronouns through the APA General Guidelines for Reducing Bias, with examples through the APA recommendations for impartial Language: test problematic phrase: the customer is often the most readily useful judge of this worth of their guidance.

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

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


Instead of an individual’s gender, intimate orientation (never “sexual preference”) pertains to the gender a person is drawn to (actually, romantically, emotionally). Relate to the after terms as 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 incorporate women and men, “gay individuals. ” AVOID “homosexual, ” as it is often used derogatively in past times.

Lesbian: adj. To explain ladies who are drawn to other ladies. “Lesbian” may be used as being a noun; some females additionally identify as “gay females. ” Become clear you might be including both women and men, you may utilize men that are“gay ladies” or “gay guys and lesbians” rather than “gay individuals. ”

Bisexual: adj. To spell it out a person who could be interested in folks 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 could relate to either sex and includes people that are bisexual same-sex relationships.

Heterosexual: adj. To explain an individual who is interested in people of other genders. “Straight” is appropriate but reasonably casual.

LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. This acronym is frequently utilized to mention to all or any of those social people as an organization. Make use of an acronym as long as you simply cannot be much more particular. Keep in mind 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, don’t are the “T. ” Also be mindful that there isn’t an individual, all-encompassing LGBT experience or worldview; you may acknowledge this by making 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: could possibly be utilized to non-heterosexual individuals. This term just isn’t in extensive usage, therefore define how you’re deploying it the very first time it seems.

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


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

The authors with this handout, M.E. Ficarra ’15, Olivia Valcarce ’15, and Sharon Williams, composing Center Director, acknowledge listed here due to 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. When you have recommendations for mail order bride revisions for this handout, please contact the composing Center.