The Associated Press updated its style guide to include more politically correct ways to refer to transgender and gender fluid people, according to a Friday email.
The AP emailed their subscribers to inform them of the updates to the AP Stylebook, reports the Washington Times.
The AP Stylebook approves the use of “they,” them,” and “their,” to refer to transgender people or people who do not identify with either gender.
“They/them/their is acceptable in limited cases as a singular and-or gender-neutral pronoun, when alternative wording is overly awkward or clumsy,” the stylebook notes.
The AP advises writers to try and re-word their sentences if possible because “clarity is a top priority; gender-neutral use of a singular they is unfamiliar to many readers.” Gender neutral pronouns like “ze” and “xe” are not allowed, the AP Stylebook adds.
Some journalists were excited about the update, saying it was far overdue for the change to occur.
“The fact that it’s being accepted by The Associated Press, that’s super exciting,” said Tiffany Stevens, a non-binary reporter with The Roanoke Times. “Non-binary people as an identity aren’t recognized in general in America.”
The AP Stylebook also updated its definition of gender, telling writers it is not the same things as “sex.”
“Gender refers to a person’s social identity while sex refers to biological characteristics,” the style guide states. “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.
The guidebook tells writers to use “men and women,” “boys and girls” and “males and females” for added clarity when writing about scientific studies.
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