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Australian National University tries to enforce gender-neutral terms

Academics from nation’s top university tell staff to call mothers the ‘gestational parent’ and fathers the ‘non-birthing parent’ – and there is even a gender-neutral term for breastfeeding

  • Australian National University hope to introduce gender-inclusive education
  • Gender Institute Handbook asked for dads to be called ‘non-birthing parents’
  • Staff have been asked to ‘correct’ themselves if they use the wrong terms
  • A hospital in the United Kingdom told staff to use terms like ‘birthing parents’ 

Staff at Australian National University in Canberra have been asked by academics to stop using the word ‘mother’ and instead say ‘gestational parent’, alongside a list of other bizarre changes.

In a bid to introduce gender-inclusive teachings, ANU’s Gender Institute Handbook also asked for fathers to be referred to as the ‘non-birthing parent’ and ‘breastfeeding’ to be replaced with ‘chestfeeding’.

‘Mother’s milk’ was also said to be replaced with ‘human or parent milk’. 

‘While many students will identify as “mothers” or “fathers”, using these terms alone to describe parenthood excludes those who do not identify with gender-binaries,’ the handbook, obtained by The Daily Telegraph, reads.

Staff at Australian National University (pictured) have asked been asked by academics to stop using the word ‘mother’ and instead say ‘gestational parent’

In a bid to introduce gender-inclusive teachings, ANU's Gender Institute Handbook also asked for 'breastfeeding' to be replaced with 'chestfeeding'

In a bid to introduce gender-inclusive teachings, ANU’s Gender Institute Handbook also asked for ‘breastfeeding’ to be replaced with ‘chestfeeding’

‘This non-gendered language is particularly important in clinical or abstract academic discussions of childbirth and parenthood, both to recognise the identities of students in the class, and to model inclusive behaviour for students entering clinical practice.’ 

Staff have been asked to ‘correct’ themselves if they accidentally use the wrong terms. 

‘Language habits take practice to overcome, and students respect the efforts you make to be inclusive,’ the guide read. 

But a spokesman for ANU, Australia’s top ranked university, said the document is not an official policy of the institution. 

The spokesman said the handbook was produced by experts who are allowed to ‘research in their field of expertise under our policies on academic freedom’. 

The changes come a week after a hospital in the United Kingdom told staff to use terms like ‘birthing parents’ and ‘human milk’ rather than just referring to ‘mothers’ and ‘breast milk’ to avoid offending transgender people.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust unveiled a blizzard of ‘gender inclusive’ phrases in a drive to stamp out ‘mainstream transphobia’.

The Trust is the first in the country to formally implement such a radical overhaul for its maternity services department – which will now be known as ‘perinatal services’.

A spokesman for ANU, Australia's top ranked university, said the document is not an official policy of the institution

A spokesman for ANU, Australia’s top ranked university, said the document is not an official policy of the institution

ANU's Gender Institute Handbook also asked for fathers to be referred to as the 'non-birthing parent'

ANU’s Gender Institute Handbook also asked for fathers to be referred to as the ‘non-birthing parent’

Other changes include replacing the use of the word ‘woman’ with the phrase ‘woman or person’, and the term ‘father’ with ‘parent’, ‘co-parent’ or ‘second biological parent’, depending on the circumstances.

It said: ‘Gender identity can be a source of oppression and health inequality. We are consciously using the words ‘women’ and ‘people’ together to make it clear that we are committed to working on addressing health inequalities for all those who use our services,’ a policy document read. 

The move was welcomed by inclusivity campaigners. Campaign group TransActual tweeted: ‘This is fantastic, well done. Let’s hope many more trusts follow suit. Everybody deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk