The AP Stylebook, basically the go-to source on style for writers (sorry Chicago Manual of Style), sent out an e-mail Friday, discussing its recent changes regarding gender. The style guide wants journalists to avoid making any mistakes when referring to a transgender person.” The update also reiterates to writers that “gender” is “not 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.”
It also made reference to Oxford’s Word of the Year, the singular “they.” By saying that sometimes it is the preferred pronoun for a person.