Some U.S. universities have released guides to what they call "inclusive language." For example, Springfield College in Massachusetts offers pronoun "guidelines" in its quest to create "gender-inclusive academic, living, and work environments." The school's guidelines recommend using nouns "sibling" (instead of sister or brother), "first-year student" (instead of freshman), and "people, human beings, or humanity" (instead of mankind) – among others.
Springfield also suggests discarding the titles "father" and "mother" and only using the word "parent." Adam Ellwanger, a professor of English at University of Houston-Downtown and a writer for Campus Reform, warns about the dangers of tossing the titles aside.
"By policing language about fatherhood and motherhood, the universities are degrading that role," he tells AFN.
Ellwanger cites statistics that reveal a father's role a mother's role are both important.
"We know that 85% of youths in prison come from fatherless homes," he offers, continuing: "We know that 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes; 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes; [and] 60% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes."
Ellwanger acknowledges that children in a single-parent home can and have overcome those outcomes, but notes that such social pathologies are more likely to occur in a home with one parent.
Campus Reform reports that Springfield's gender pronoun guidelines were based on two sources: The Stonewall Center (an LGBTQIA+ resource center at UMass Amherst) and the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals.