Recommendations for Gender-Neutral Language Usage

Every language has words and phrases that are more appropriate and polite to use than others. German is of course no exception to this. The University of Bamberg has made a concerted effort to create a list of tips and additional information to help the university community be more aware of their language choices. Even if you are new to learning German, consider reviewing the flyer's information to ensure your language is gender-neutral, polite, and respectful to everyone from the start. 

The latest recommendations for gender-neutral language usage, provided by the University Executive Board, are readily available. Click here to go to the webpage on which you can view and download the flyer. 

The flyer is also available in print through the Women's Office. To request a copy, please contact us at frauenbeauftragte(at)

Please note that because the flyer concerns itself with the use of the German language, the information itself is only available in German.

Relevant studies about the standard masculine form and "sex-based language"

Bem, Sandra / Bem, Daryl (1973): „Does Sex-biased Job Advertising ‚Aid and Abet‘ Sex Discrimination?“, in: Journal of Applied Social Psychology 3/1, 6-18. Online verfügbar im Bamberger Katalog

Braun, Frederike / Oelkers, Susanne / Rogalski, Karin / Bosak, Janine / Sczesny, Sabine (2007): „‘Aus Gründen der Verständlichkeit…‘: Der Einfluss generisch maskuliner und alternativer Personen-bezeichnungen auf die kognitive Verarbeitung von Texten“, in: Psychologische Rundschau 58/3, 183-185. Online verfügbar im Bamberger Katalog

Gabriel, Ute / Garnham, Alan / Gygax, Pascal / Oakhill, Jane / Sarrasin, Oraine (2008): „Generically intended, but specifically interpreted. When beauticians, musicians, and mechanics are all men“, in: Language and Cognitive Processes 23/3, 464–485.

Kotthoff, Helga / Nübling, Damaris (2018): Genderlinguistik. Eine Einführung in Sprache, Gespräch und Geschlecht, unt. Mitarb. v. Claudia Schmidt, Tübingen: Narr, 91-127 (Kap. 5). Online verfügbar im Bamberger Katalog

Stahlberg, Dagmar / Sczesny, Sabine (2001): „Effekte des generischen Maskulinums und alternativer Sprachformen auf den gedanklichen Einbezug von Frauen“, in: Psychologische Rundschau52/3, S.131–140. Online verfügbar im Bamberger Katalog

Vervecken, Dries / Hannover, Bettina / Wolter, Ilka (2013): „Changing (S)expectations. How gender fair job descriptions impact children’s perceptions and interest regarding traditionally male occupations“, in: Journal of Vocational Behavior 82/3, 208-2020. Online verfügbar im Bamberger Katalog