- - Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Washington Times should refrain from adopting the politically correct Associated Press style of referring to people as “him” or “her” according to way these people perceive themselves (“Army: No gender reassignment for Bradley Manning,” Web, Aug. 22). To do so is biologically wrong and journalistically corrupt.

A person’s sex is determined by his or her DNA. Bradley Manning’s Y-chromosome will forever identify him as a man, and no AP style change can alter that fact. Nor can his self-identity as a woman change that fact.

In terms of journalism, a news organization must, of course, always stick to the facts. While it is a fact that Manning identifies as a woman, it is a more fundamental fact that he has a Y-chromosome and is, therefore, a man. His self-identity as a woman could easily be criticized as psychological confusion, a very shaky foundation on which to base journalism.

Therefore, The Washington Times should always refer to people with a Y-chromosome as “he” and to those with a double-X as “she.” To do otherwise would be counterfactual and corrupt.

ROBERT SELLE
Bowie, Md.