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California history prof instructs students to use gender-neutral pronouns in essays

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A San Diego State University professor is instructing her students to use gender-neutral pronouns in their essays. (Jean-Pierre Clatot/AFP/Getty Images)

What happened?

Chiou-Ling Yeh, a San Diego State University associate professor of history, told her students to avoid using gender terms that are favorable to men and instead start using gender-neutral language, according to The College Fix.

So what exactly are students supposed to write instead?

Instructions for a research paper assignment explained that students should include both "he" and "she" when necessary.

"Try to use gender-neutral language in your writing. Do not use the universal 'he' or 'his.' Use 'he/she' or 'he and she.' Do not use 'mankind' when 'humankind' or 'humanity' will do just as well," Yeh wrote in the assignment instructions obtained by The Fix.

The homework assignment involved analyzing historical documents and images and was not related to gender identity.

Yeh did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheBlaze.

Why does it matter?

It is not uncommon in recent years for college professors to instruct their students to use gender-neutral language. Earlier this year, a student at the University of Florida was actually penalized on his essay for failing to use the gender-neutral "humankind." Last year, Oxford University announced a campuswide change to using the gender-neutral term "ze" to encompass all genders into one in order to avoid offending transgender students.

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