- - Thursday, August 29, 2013

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

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.

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