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Major media style guide tells press to avoid terms like 'biological sex,' defends gender surgery for minors

The latest media style guidance from the Associated Press instructed journalists in their reporting to respect LGBTQ subjects’ preferred pronouns, advised them to avoid terms like “biological sex,” and provided a mini lesson arguing for the existence of transgender medical procedures for minors. 

The guide also insisted that reporters only quote qualified experts when providing statements on biology or “athletic regulations” regarding trans people in sports and urged them to avoid using phrases like “both sexes,” as people identity with more than two.

It also instructed reporters not to write that a trans individual was born a boy or girl but to refer to their “sex assigned at birth.”


The first specific tip provided guidance on quoting people about trans issues, and trans issues in the world of competitive sports. According to the guide, you should only quote the experts, and avoid ordinary people with less credentialed opinions. 

It stated, “Avoid false balance — giving a platform to unqualified claims or sources in the guise of balancing a story by including all views. For instance, don’t quote people speaking about biology or athletic regulations unless they have the proper background.” 

It then claimed that reporters should never be using the phrase both sexes, or both genders, “Since not all people fall under one of two categories for sex or gender — as in the cases of nonbinary and intersex people.”

Of course, the term “groomer” is to be avoided, as some people use it “to stoke fears about LGBTQ+ people’s interactions with children, or education about LGBTQ+ people, comparing their actions to those of child molesters,” the guide said. 

The style guide also devoted an entire section of the update to a defense of “gender transitions and gender-affirming care.” It claimed, “Transgender medical treatment for youths is increasingly under attack in many states and has been subject to restrictions or outright bans. But it has been available in the United States for more than a decade and is endorsed by major medical associations.”

The guide then stated, “If the gender dysphoria persists and they meet other criteria, teens can begin hormone treatments that prompt sexual development, including changes in appearance. Guidelines from leading authorities on gender-affirming medical care say surgery generally should be reserved for adults, with exceptions for older teens who meet certain criteria.”

Fox News Digital reached out to the Associated Press for comment. This story will be updated with any response. 

Trans Day of Visibility march

The AP Style guide also noted how leading doctors claim that some minors are clear to undergo transgender medical procedures. ((Photo by Andrea Ronchini/NurPhoto via Getty Images))

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