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Sex and gender

Use inclusive terms rather than those that make sex distinctions.

  • Ancestors, not forefathers
  • Humankind, not mankind
  • Working hours, not man hours
  • Chair, not chairman

Avoid using a generic masculine pronoun.

For example: A staff member needing a new computer should contact IT Services; not if a staff member needs a new computer, he should contact IT Services.

Avoid indicating marital or family status unless contextually necessary. If a title is needed for a woman, use the neutral Ms. unless the person has indicated a preference for Miss or Mrs.

The university recommends not using salutations (e.g. Mr., Mrs. Ms., etc.) on forms, unless required.

Sexual orientation should not be mentioned unless relevant. Avoid the term sexual preference. Preference implies a choice; many people do not regard their sexuality as optional.