The Associated Press released its latest style guidance for journalists, effectively denying the existence of biological sex and forbidding journalists to write otherwise.
In fact, it recommends not using the phrase “biological sex” at all.
AP’s guidance is widely used by journalists and the media. Its new “Transgender Coverage Topical Guide” explains that “gender terminology is vast and constantly evolving.”
The guide says not use the word “mutilation” to describe cross-sex surgeries, avoid using a transgender person’s prior name, and even avoid describing pronouns as “preferred” or “chosen” but rather say “whose pronouns are” or “the pronouns they use.”
Though never explicitly stated, AP’s clear assumption is that transgender identities must be validated, even if it means sweeping scientific reality under the rug.
“Avoid terms like biological sex, along with biological male and biological female, which opponents of transgender rights sometimes use to refer to transgender women and transgender men, respectively,” the guidance says.
“Don’t quote people speaking about biology or athletic regulations unless they have the proper background,” it adds.
And what exactly is the “proper background”?
AP seems to think the only people capable of understanding sex and gender are medical professionals.
And it supports its gender ideology by citing the views of “experts from organizations including the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Assocation [who] say gender is a spectrum, not a binary structure consisting of only males and females.”
Only a few years ago, the majority of Americans believed that gender was a binary. But since most of them didn’t have advanced medical degrees, AP – and its followers – will likely dismiss their views as unqualified.
But Dr. Abigail Favale, an author and professor of gender studies and feminist literary criticism, thinks AP is espousing its own gender doctrine.
The media guide is “both ‘Catechesis’ and guidelines,” Favale told the National Catholic Register. “The reader is being taught not just what language to use, [but also] how to view the topic.”
In an essay from 2019, Favale also discussed the cultural consequences of gender ideology.
“[Popular narratives claim] gender is a spectrum; Gender is fluid; Gender is innate; Gender is in the brain; Gender is a construct,” Favale writes. “Because gender is no longer anchored in maleness or femaleness, it is endlessly malleable.”
She concludes by affirming the preeminence of biological sex, even when one’s behavior runs counter to cultural stereotypes.
“A boy who loves art and pretend play, and despises sports, is nonetheless a boy,” Favale says.
That is one fact journalists from the AP probably won’t be covering.