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Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Resources

This guide is designed to support the study and practical application of resources related to DEI topics.

Key Terms

Ageism - The stereotyping and discrimination against individuals or groups on the basis of their age; ageism can take many forms, including prejudicial attitudes, discriminatory practices, or institutional policies and practices that perpetuate stereotypical beliefs. 1

Examples of Bias-Free Languageā 2 

The following table illustrates are examples of bias-free language for age. Both problematic and preferred examples are presented with explanatory comment.

Problematic Preferred Explanation

the elderly 
elders
elderly people
the aged
aging dependents
seniors
senior citizens

older adults
older people
persons 65 years and older
the older population

The problematic terms perpetuate stereotypes.

“Seniors” and “senior citizens” are not uniformly recognized age groups.

Be specific about the age groups when possible.

Aged 12 years and younger Aged 13 to 17 years Aged 18 years and older

Appropriate terms are “infant” (for a very young child), “child,” “girl,” “boy,” “transgender girl,” “transgender boy,” “gender-fluid child,”  and so on.

Appropriate terms are “adolescent,” “young person,” “youth,” “young woman,” “young man,” “female adolescent,” “male adolescent,” “agender adolescent,” and so on.

Appropriate terms are “adult,” “woman,” “man,” “transgender man,” “trans man,” “transgender woman,” “trans woman,” “genderqueer adult,” “cisgender adult,” and so on.

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1. "Frequently Asked Questions: Ageism," World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/ageing/features/faq-ageism/en/

2. "Age," American Psychological Association. https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/bias-free-language/age

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