Sensitivity in scientific writing

Sensitivity in scientific writing

Scientific writing is all about being accurate, brief, and objective, and as editors or writers we should reduce the bias that creeps in from the use of insensitive language and flawed terminology. Recall that writing shapes thought, so use inclusive language when writing about the following subjects.

Disability: Use “people-first” language – emphasize the person and not the disability by placing the person-noun before the condition (for example, people with amnesia instead of amnesiacs, or people with disabilities instead of the disabled). Avoid emotionally charged or judgmental words such as cripple, victim, deformed, retarded, restrained, suffer, and afflicted with (for example, avoid quadriplegic victim held to a wheelchair and use person with quadriplegia who uses a wheelchair instead). Also, do not use skewed groupings such as Normal vs. Disabled.

Lovemaking/gender: Sex refers to the biological makeup of a person (masculine/female), whereas gender refers to the social or behavioral role associated with a particular lovemaking (man/woman), and this distinction should be made if required by the research investigate design. Gender terms such as he or studs should not be used if actually referring to both boys and women (not all nurses are women and not all doctors dudes, and only approximately 50% of humankind is mankind!). A sexist bias introduced by gendered pronouns such as he can be avoided by (1) using plural nouns or pronouns ( “As an engineering student, he…” to “As engineering students, they…”), (Two) rephrasing ( “When an intern works with patients, she gains practice” to “Working with patients lends practice to interns”), or (Trio) substituting the pronoun with an  article or noun (e.g., “In the laboratory, he should…” to “In the laboratory, the technician should…”).

Race: Race can be a predisposing factor for certain medical conditions, so accurate race and ethnic designations should be made if warranted and terms that may be perceived as negative avoided. Race indicates the heritage or biological features one is born with, and ethnicity the cultural traditions and behaviors that are learnt. Race and ethnic groups are decent nouns and should be capitalized. Both African-American (only for US citizens of African descent) and Black are acceptable; Asian has substituted Oriental; and both American Indian and Native American are acceptable. If possible, specify the countries of origin (for example, Korean, Japanese, or Indian for Asian). Non-White is an incorrect term; instead, specify all races not included under the category White. 

Age: In pediatric studies, age-groups such as infants, children, adolescents, and youthfull adults are used, but age ranges vary by explore and should be specified. Guys and women are used for individuals Legitimate years and older. Elderly is not acceptable as a noun; use older persons or elderly people.

Sexual orientation: Sexual orientation is preferred to sexual preference in scientific reporting. Use lesbians and gay studs instead of homosexuals, and include gender if not clear from context (for example, gay studs and not just gay). Differentiate sexual behavior from sexual orientation, as some individuals engage in sexual activity with same-sex playmates, but do not consider themselves gay or sapphic.

You can also read this article, which will guide you in writing a better research paper.  

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