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CNN news article touts terms like ‘penis owners,’ ‘pregnant people’ as inclusive language

CNN released an explainer about new phrases designed for gender inclusivity — like “pregnant people” and “penis owners” — in a news story this week. 

“The use of phrases such as ‘pregnant people’ or ‘penis owners’ in cultural or political discourse is sometimes met with confusion, or even anger,” the article stated. “Why use these terms when, as some people ask, ‘only women can get pregnant’ or when ‘only men have penises?'”

The piece, published in CNN’s health section online, was not identified as opinion and cited “experts” making the case for “gender-inclusive phrases.”

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Pregnant woman image

(CNN released an explainer about new phrases designed for inclusivity — like “pregnant people” and “penis owners” — in a news story from Monday. )

“As our understanding of gender has evolved, and our understanding of inclusion has evolved, we’re starting to see more and more of these terms being used,” Keygan Miller, director of public training at The Trevor Project crisis group for LGBT youths, told CNN

“We need to be doing a better job of educating people and realizing that sex and gender are a bit of a spectrum … and that they’re not the same,” Miller said. 

Citing clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Dr. Jack Drescher said “it’s the most inclusive, streamlined way to refer to everyone who, regardless of their gender identity, has certain anatomy or biological abilities.”

Professor emeritus of English and Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Dennis Baron, told CNN that using gender-inclusive terms is “not just a matter of (being) inclusive or polite, it’s a matter of medical accuracy,” 

“Presumably, it makes the patient feel like they’re being seen, that they’re being paid attention to appropriately,” Baron said. 

Baron rejected arguments that new terminology like “pregnant people” and “penis owners” were “made up” and therefore unworthy of serious consideration. 

“All language is made up, and it’s made up because we have a need to say things,” Baron said. 

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Clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, Dr. Jack Drescher, argued that gender-inclusive language would not ignore the majority of “ciswomen and cismen because they are a “very large majority.”  (iStock)

Drescher argued that gender-inclusive language would not ignore “ciswomen and cismen” because they are a “very large majority.” 

The article also cited Miller to make the case against saying “only women can get pregnant” because statements like that “convey that a ciswoman who can’t get pregnant is no longer fully a woman.”

In 2023, CNN published a “guide to neopronouns.”

In the story titled “A guide to neopronouns, from ae to ze,” CNN’s article outlined the use of alternative grammar that eliminates “gender markers,” quoting one of “the foremost experts on neopronouns” who encouraged readers to “use and respect” neopronouns like any other common pronoun.

” xe/xyr (commonly pronounced zee/zeer) I asked xyr to come to the movies. Xe said yes!” the CNN story reads. “ze/zir or ze/hir (commonly pronounced zee/zeer or zee/heer.) The teacher graded zir paper today, and ze got an A! Ze said hirself that I’m hir favorite neighbor.”

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Fox News’ Yael Halon contributed to this report. 


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