segunda-feira, 4 de julho de 2011

Stereotypes and Biased Language

By Dana Lynn Driscoll, Allen Brizee

Avoid using language that is stereotypical or biased in any way. Biased language frequently occurs with gender, but can also offend groups of people based on sexual orientation, ethnicity, political interest, or race.

Stereotyped Language
Stereotyped language is any that assumes a stereotype about a group of people. For example, don't assume a common stereotype about blonde women:

Incorrect: Although she was blonde, Mary was still intelligent.
Revised: Mary was intelligent.

Non-Sexist language
Writing in a non-sexist, non-biased way is both ethically sound and effective. Non-sexist writing is necessary for most audiences; if you write in a sexist manner and alienate much of your audience from your discussion, your writing will be much less effective.

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) suggests the following guidelines:

Generic Use
Although MAN in its original sense carried the dual meaning of adult human and adult male, its meaning has come to be so closely identified with adult male that the generic use of MAN and other words with masculine markers should be avoided.

Original: mankind
Alternatives: humanity, people, human beings

Original:man's achievements
Alternative: human achievements

Original: man-made
Alternatives: synthetic, manufactured, machine-made

Original: the common man
Alternatives: the average person, ordinary people

Original: man the stockroom
Alternative: staff the stockroom

Original: nine man-hours
Alternative: nine staff-hours

Avoid the use of MAN in occupational terms when persons holding the job could be either male or female.

Original: chairman
Alternatives: coordinator (of a committee or department), moderator (of a meeting), presiding officer, head, chair

Original: businessman
Alternatives: business executive, business person

Original: fireman
Alternative: firefighter

Original: mailman
Alternative: mail carrier

Original: steward and stewardess
Alternative: flight attendant

Original: policeman and policewoman
Alternative: police officer

Original: congressman
Alternative: congressional representative

Historically, some jobs have been dominated by one gender or the other. This has lead to the tendency for a person of the opposite gender to be "marked" by adding a reference to gender. You should avoid marking the gender in this fashion in your writing.

Original: male nurse
Alternative: nurse

Original: woman doctor
Alternative: doctor

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