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Pronouns: Gender Bias

Personal Pronouns

For many years, the pronoun he was used routinely to make a generic reference to an unspecified individual filling a certain role or profession. He was used to refer to a student, teacher, doctor, lawyer, or banker, while she was used to refer to a nurse, secretary, or typist. This practice is now considered biased.
  Faulty    When an accountant learns a foreign language, he gets access to a wider job market.
Revise such sentences that make general statements about people, roles, and professions, using one of the following methods:
  1. Use a plural antecedent + they.
  Revised    When accountants learn a foreign language, they get access to a wider job market.
  1. Rewrite the sentence to avoid using a pronoun.
  Revised    An accountant who learns a foreign language gets access to a wider job market.
  1. Use a singular antecedent + he or she.
  Revised    When an accountant learns a foreign language, he or she gets access to a wider job market.

The problem with the last option is that when such a sentence is continued, awkward and repetitive structures often result:
  Example When an accountant learns a foreign language, he or she gets access to a wider job market once he or she has decided on his or her specialty.
 
Use the he or she option only when the sentence is short and does not repeat the pronouns.
 
Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns, such as one, each, either, neither, everyone, everybody, someone, somebody, something, anyone, anybody, anything, no one, nobody, and nothing, are generally singular in form. A singular antecedent needs a singular pronoun to refer to it. For many years, the prescribed form in standard English was he, as in sentences such as Everyone needs his privacy or Each person needs his privacy. Now, however, such usage is regarded as biased. Avoid indefinite pronouns by using a plural noun and pronoun.
  Faulty    Everyone picked up his marbles and went home.
  Revised    The children picked up their marbles and went home.
 

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See also
Personal Pronouns
Possessive Forms
Clear Reference
Agreement with Antecedent
Point of View
Use of you
Intensive and Reflexive Pronouns
Who Whom, Whoever Whomever