Associated Press issues new guidance on sex, gender: ‘avoid’ referring to ‘both’ or ‘either’ sexes


From Washington Times: In a Friday email to subscribers listing updated entries for its style manual, the Associated Press is urging journalists to avoid making references in news stories that suggest there are only two sexes in the human race.

The term “gender,” the AP Stylebook says, is “[n]ot synonymous with sex.”

“Gender refers to a person’s social identity while sex refers to biological characteristics,” the style guide explains.

Not all people fall under one of two categories for sex or gender, according to leading medical organizations, so avoid references to both, either or opposite sexes or genders as a way to encompass all people. When needed for clarity or in certain stories about scientific studies, alternatives include men and women, boys and girls, males and females.”

The Stylebook issued further guidance for use of pronouns under an entry named “they, them, their.” Those third-person plural pronouns are preferred by some transgender or gender fluid individuals who say they are not comfortable with traditional male or female personal pronouns.

For its part, the AP advises writers that while “[i]n most cases, a plural pronoun should agree in number with the antecedent …. when alternative wording is overly awkward and clumsy” it may be permissible to use they, them, or their to refer to an individual. “However, rewording usually is possible and always is preferable” because “[c]larity is a top priority” in news reporting and “gender-neutral use of a singular they is unfamiliar to many readers.”

The news wire then added there is a linguistic line it’s drawn with personal pronouns. “We do not use other gender-neutral pronouns such as xe or ze.”

This is not the first time the AP has changed its style manual in light of changing cultural values on sexuality. In 2013 the news wire added an entry for “husband, wife” in its style manual in light of the growing legal recognition of same-sex marriage. The most up-to-date version of the Stylebook for that entry now reads, “Regardless of sexual orientation, husband for a man or wife for a woman is acceptable in all references to individuals in any legally recognized marriage. Spouse or partner may be used if requested.”

Aside from gender identity and LGBT-related matters, the AP email also alerted subscribers to a new entry related to the phenomenon of “fake news.”

“The term fake news may be used in quotes or as shorthand for the modern phenomenon of deliberate falsehoods or fiction masked as news circulating on the internet,” the AP explains. “However, do not label as fake news specific or individual news items that are disputed.”

“If fake news is used in a quote, push for specifics about what is meant. Alternative wording includes false reports, erroneous reports, unverified reports, questionable reports, disputed reports or false reporting, depending on the context.”

The new style guidelines are effective immediately, with the AP Stylebook Online already updated accordingly, the email explained.



16 responses to “Associated Press issues new guidance on sex, gender: ‘avoid’ referring to ‘both’ or ‘either’ sexes

  1. Orwellian NewSpeak

    Liked by 2 people

  2. News flash! Person raped by another person. That is all were allowed to tell You!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well isn’t that special-AP NEWS is Zionist Jew News FYI, and everyone in FAKE NEWS gets their cue from AP-it is time for people to do what government refuses to do-boycott AP news, simple-stop reading them! The nerve that these privately owned propaganda outlets want to tell people what to think-even worse that people allow and support these creeps

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Been done already… and not much better:

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Traveling patriot

    How stupid is this?? It just keeps getting worse and worse. I guess they think the public will just go along idiotically and accept this manufactured wording?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It? IT??? That’s RAAaaaaaacist!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • truckjunkie, I always like your input, please explain why IT is racist. I learned that IT is neither masculine nor feminine and/or lacking or having imperfectly developed or nonfunctional generative organs.


      • Alma, I for one, think Truckjunkie was being facetious. Think about it. It seem no matter what you say these days somebody says it is racist, homophobic,sexist, anti-muslim or what ever comes to their childish spoiled feeble minds. You can’t look at some people without them becoming offended by something! People need to grow up, pull up their pants and get a life.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Penis = man, vagina = woman. End of discussion.
    Wondering if LGBTQ been updated already to LGBTQWDI-AG (W=weird, D=Deviant, I=inane, AG=anything goes;) – and with a little imagination we can cover every single letter of the alphabet I am sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Male / Female = he /she (nominative). If someone is confused or can’t make up his mind = it. Thank you Addams Family for your special cousin.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Pingback: The Associated Press vs. the Truth | Lee Duigon

  10. Great choice of illustration, DCG.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I prefer “S/H/IT” for those who are confused.
    Speaking of which, the AP is now run by a fat, old lesbian liberal s/h/it. Most of its reporters are liberal as well. Many have non-anglicized names. Having been cut-out of news briefings by the Trump WH, the AP has taken it upon itself to attack him at every chance, often by printing false info and opinion as if it were fact. It has become flooded by liberal indoctrination and democrat talking points. Very sad to see what was once a bastion of “just the facts” turned into a cesspool of demagogic pabulum, through which one must now wade to see if there’s any shred of truth to their “stories”.
    Of course, the same could be said of today’s PBS and NPR (were they ever neutral?)
    And as for NBC, ABC, & CBS? Lost to the P.C. left long ago… even the local news, where they no longer give descriptions of suspects in crimes around town for fear that would be construed as racist. But if you want moronic ads every 3 minutes? They’re your go-to source. They now give teasers: “And after ‘the break’…” meaning after another 3-5minutes (or more) of ads, you’ll get another 2-3minutes of news in which they’ll tease again about a story that may never actually materialize, at least not as promised. Gah.


  12. Pingback: News With Views | The Truth Is Not In Them

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