Avoiding Gender Bias in Writing

[Instructors: Use this Classroom Exercise as a quick change-of-page in your classrooms. Used the exercise and key PDFS at the end of the post.]

Let’s take a look at gender bias. Many people are unaware of their biases and mean no harm, but they may call unnecessary attention to gender, invoke gender stereotypes, or use expressions that can be offensive. In the sentences below, change the word that is gender insensitive to one that is gender neutral.

  1. After a long discussion about the merits of the candidates, the board appointed Sofia Merced (as) chairwoman.
  2. The instructor asked a student to show his work to the class.
  3. Manmade chemicals sometimes mimic the composition of substances found in nature.
  4. Our nation’s forefathers experienced great hardships before and during the Revolutionary War.
  5. The tourists asked the policeman on Madison Avenue for directions to the Metropolitan Museum.
  6. The university offers many resources to help freshmen adapt to their new situation.
  7. After the discussion devolved into a free-for-all, it was clear a middleman was needed to help both sides come to a compromise.
  8. Many of the students spoke their mother tongue before they spoke English.
  9. Ask the speaker if he has completed the PowerPoint slides to accompany his talk .
  10. The roommates encountered many problems with their landlord.


Avoiding Gender Bias Key

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