Academy Resource Center
What is sexist language?
The two most common examples of sexist language are:
1. Using “he” to refer to both men and women.
If a person wants to paint well, he must practice everyday.
2. Including gender in titles:
fireman hostess policewoman male nurse stewardess mankind manmade
Why should I avoid using sexist language?
- It is not acceptable in academic or business settings
- It often gives inaccurate information
- It fails to recognize the contributions of both sexes
How can I avoid using sexist language?
1. Instead of using he to refer to men and women, use “he or she”
If a person wants to paint well, he or she must practice everyday.
2. Use the plural form
If people want to paint well, they must practice everyday.
3. You can alternate he and she for different examples
If an athlete wants to compete, he will spend a lot of time training.
A good doctor will give her patients the best possible care.
If you choose option 3, be sure not to use feminine and masculine pronouns for the same example
INCORRECT: The artist wanted to display his work at the exhibit but she missed the deadline
CORRECT: The artist wanted to display her work at the exhibit but she missed the deadline.
CORRECT: The artist wanted to display his work at the exhibit but he missed the deadline.
Instead of including gender in titles, use titles without gender.
firefighter host police officer nurse flight attendant humankind/humanity synthetic/manufactured