ESIC Market


Recommendations for inclusive and non-sexist language

Recommendations on the use of inclusive language

ESIC Market is committed to research that is accurate, unbiased and intersectional, i.e. sensitive to the complexity and breadth of cultural, biological, economic and social contexts. To this end, it is essential that manuscripts use inclusive language free of biases associated with race, functional diversity, gender, sexual orientation, beliefs, ideology or socio-economic status.

Thus, it is inappropriate to provide information about individuals that is irrelevant to the study, as it is inappropriate to ignore subject-specific differences and characteristics when they exist.

The use of labels to designate a group of people, as if they were a group outside society, is also inappropriate as it contributes to perpetuating stereotypes. Expressions that stigmatise or discriminate against groups of people should therefore be avoided.

The negative sense in expressions and condescending terminology is, in the specific case of people with functional diversity, a tendency that should be avoided.
With regard to race, comparisons between groups, essentialisms or reference to "minorities" are discouraged and inappropriate.

Recommendations on the use of non-sexist language

ESIC Market recommends the use of non-sexist language in texts submitted for publication.

ESIC Market, aware that not all texts are equally viable for adapting certain linguistic formulas to the requirements of an egalitarian language, trusts in the care of the content in favour of equality beyond merely morphological aspects. However, given that language has resources and mechanisms to express what one wants to say, the writer can choose between one form or another to express him/herself in an inclusive and non-sexist manner.

Thus, although the Royal Spanish Academy recognises the masculine as the unmarked gender for collective mentions, there is an increasing demand for formulas that make the role of women and non-binary people visible. This does not mean that the use of the generic masculine is inappropriate or always discriminatory. Its use is perfectly valid and avoids a sexist interpretation if, for example, we also name the person or persons referred to with that term.

ESIC Market is therefore committed to inclusive linguistic formulas, which can be used as long as they do not modify the meaning of the expression.

The proposals presented here are not the only ones, although they are the most frequently used. In any case, it is not necessary to choose only one option, but different solutions can be used alternately throughout the text. Moreover, in each case, it is advisable to choose the one that best suits the grammatical and content circumstances.

One of the keys to detecting whether a word or expression could imply sexism is to subject it to the so-called inversion rule, which consists of replacing it with the opposite gender. If it is inappropriate, it should then be replaced by a more inclusive one.

The following is a list of the most advisable linguistic formulas to avoid sexist use of language:

- If the names of the persons referred to are known, it is advisable to use the grammatical gender that represents their gender.

- In the case of a group of women and men, both feminine and masculine should be used, if it is known that they are mostly women; or masculine and feminine, if it is known that they are mostly men. If the degree of participation is not known, you can start with either of the two formulas and use them alternatively, or decide to use alphabetical order (male and female pupils, or male and female doctors).

- It is advisable to use generic or epicene nouns (person, subject, individual, character, member, etc.), collective nouns (citizenship, students, team) and abstract nouns (archaeology for archaeologist, authorship for author, direction for director).

- Periphrases and syntagmas also favour more egalitarian formulas (research staff instead of researcher; or grant holder instead of grant holder), as well as pronouns without gender marking: neutral forms as opposed to pronouns accompanied by a masculine or feminine article (el que or la que for quien); generic formulas - pronouns without gender marking - instead of indefinite pronouns (instead of uno or una, it would be better to use alguien or nadie). Adjectives without gender marking are also preferable (for example, diferente, instead of distintos and distintas; ilustres, insignes, excelentes, célebres, instead of prestigiosas or prestigiosos; cualquier or cada, instead of todo, etc.).
- Impersonality, omission of the subject, use of the second person singular (tú or usted) or the first person plural, or the imperative form of the verb can be used. It is also advisable to replace passive verbs with active verbs or impersonal forms with se.

- In cases where the particle that accompanies the noun determines the gender, it is proposed: 1) to eliminate one of the two articles (the one of the gender that occupies the second place), although this option cannot be applied in the case of using invariable nouns; and 2) instead of splitting the determiners, adjectives and participles with which the noun agrees, one can resort to concord by proximity.

Other formulas that are also used:

- The splittings. Although this is the best known option, its application must be prudent, as its abuse can cause the language to lose economy and the reading to lose agility. If they are unavoidable, it is advisable to alternate the feminine and masculine forms in the first place throughout the text.

- The @ symbol, slashes or dashes should not be used. Spanish grammar does not yet accept non-binary formulas such as the substitution of -o/-a by the suffixes -e or -x.

- Explanatory appositions. In the case of an unavoidable use of the generic masculine, it is convenient to make use of these additions to clarify the universal meaning. As in the case of splitting, their use can make reading difficult and can even be redundant when this clarification is unnecessary.