Use the words women and men (or boys and girls) instead of the words male and female when talking about things that are gender-specific to respect the difference between the sex and gender of your students.

  • Example: "There are more men in science than women because…"

  • Using this language emphasizes that womanhood and manhood are socially defined.

    • Womanhood has different meanings in different parts of the world and in different historical periods.

    • One can be a woman and like things that are considered manly without being any less womanly.

    • What it means to be a woman, a man or neither is not biological.

  • Especially when talking about statistics, try to avoid using male and female (e.g., "women are more likely…" or "39% of women agree…" or "the class is 30% women")

  • Additionally, for more inclusive, gender-neutral language, replace boys and girls, or guys, with folks when addressing a group (e.g., say "ok folks" instead of "ok guys" when speaking to an audience).

  • Be sure to avoid saying or referring to "both" genders, because there are more than two genders.

More about this tip

External Source

Neftali Dominguez