Hi, you may not be aware of it, but there is a true bias in the English language towards the male. So today I'd like to talk a little bit about incorporating gender sensitivity into your writing. Though at times this bias is subconscious, it's an important issue to be aware of. By the end of today's video and lecture you should be able to adopt gender sensitive language into your writing. Traditionally, many of us have been taught that we should use masculine nouns or pronouns in any situation where it's unclear if the subject is male or female. The default is male. For example, one of the most influential documents in American culture is the US Declaration of Independence and within this document, one of the most influential phrases is that all men are created equal. As kids, we're taught that men here refers to both male and female Americans. This default towards using masculine nouns and pronouns to refer to both genders was, and in many cases still is, extremely common. But words matter, and times are changing. Women are increasingly involved in more and more spheres of public life, and more and more readers do not understand the word or masculine noun man to be the same as the noun people. This means writers need to think carefully about how to express gender in a way that's clear and won't inadvertently offend anyone reading their text. It's more difficult than you think, though, because there are no real concrete guidelines to follow. However, there are some strategies you can use to make sure you're using gender sensitive language in your writing. And I'd like to talk about these strategies today. First, be aware that there are some collective nouns that contain the word man in them which refer to people who may be female. Businessman is an example of this kind of insensitive language. Using the noun businessman really just means you're talking about one man who works in business, not his female colleagues. If you want to refer to both the male and female genders in a gender neutral way, use businessperson or professional. Let's talk about the next strategy. So, second. If you find yourself referring explicitly to someone's gender, ask yourself whether its really necessary. For example, if you refer to someone as a female driver, would you also refer to someone as a male driver? Or if you mention that the female driver is an attractive brunette mother, would you also mention in your text that the male driver is a muscular blond father? Why is it relevant to reveal the gender of the driver in the first place? Unless gender and other related matters, like appearance and parenthood, are relevant, there's no real reason to mention them. Next, be careful to avoid occupational or job stereotypes in your writing. There are still many occupational stereotypes around. For example, that women are the nurses and primary school teachers, while men are the scientists and politicians. This can be seen in writing when we use female pronouns like she or her to refer to nurses and teachers. And male pronouns like he and his to talk about scientists and politicians. If you want be more gender sensitive, do not make these assumptions. And fourth and finally, the trickiest is to avoid using masculine pronouns like he, him, his, or himself when you're referring to someone who may actually be female. This happens because English does not have gender neutral singular third person pronouns. Although many of us are taught at a young age that masculine pronouns can be used as a default in situations when the person you're referring to could either be male or female, this isn't really acceptable in this day and age. Like I said, this is a tricky problem, so I'll give you some ideas of what to do instead. First, to avoid the default of a masculine pronoun, use the pronoun they instead. For example, if a student want to learn more about gender inequality, they should take a Women's Studies class. Here, the first reference to the subject is a student, which is gender neutral, and the second reference is they rather than he. This is an option that many experts, grammar experts, don't actually agree on. But it works well, especially in everyday casual speech. However, if you're worried about being grammatically accurate, it's best to use they, and you could change this sentence to, if students want to learn more about gender inequality, they should take a women's studies class. Another pretty simple way to deal with situations where the gender of the subject is unclear, is to write out both options as he or she, or she/he, it actually doesn't really matter which pronoun comes first. If you're repeating this over and over again, it can appear a bit clumsy to constantly be repeating both gender pronouns. But if you use this just once, it can be helpful. Here's an example in a sentence. Each student who majors in Business must take a course in Business Case Analyses. She or he may also take courses in Business Communications. You could also simply eliminate the pronoun altogether. For example, in the sentence, Patrick Johnson is an inspiring presenter. This writer and entrepreneur gave a moving speech at last year's annual meeting. Here, the writer uses writer and entrepreneur rather than the default masculine pronoun he, making the sentence much more gender sensitive. So, let me review the four strategies I've suggested to help you write with a more gender sensitive way. First, try to avoid overusing collective nouns with man. Second, unless gender really is relevant, don't mention it in your writing. Third, try to avoid using language that may inadvertently illustrate occupational stereo types. And fourth, avoid using masculine pronouns to refer to anyone who may actually be female. Writing in a more gender sensitive way is not easy, especially because there isn't a set of concrete guidelines on which to base your decisions. Today I really encourage you to do some research on your own to find out more about gender sensitive language, so you can adopt more gender sensitive language into your writing, and write with more precision and skill. Thank you.