Language Project: Male, Female Replaced With “Sperm, Egg Genders”


“Mostly women” PhDs want male and female replaced with sperm and egg-producing genders for inclusivity

The EEB Language Project

The year 2023 could be the trend of changing or removing gender pronouns. According to the Evolutionary Biology (EEB) Language Project, the terms male and female should not be used in science because they assume sex is binary.

The male and female sexes should instead be referred to as “sperm-producing” and “egg-producing, to avoid reinforcing “heteronormative views.” [Times of London]

According to Diversity & Inclusion Manager Susan Cheng, Ph.D., the Harvard-trained educator wanted to solve social problems. “The bigger and hairier the problem, the more interesting it is to me,” she said.  

Apparently, the normative way to call mother, father, men, and women across cultures for thousands of years has become problematic among millennials and Generation Z.

In the same year, a UK cervical cancer charity created an educational document for its staff conducting cervical screenings with trans men (biological women). The group suggested alternative terms like “bonus hole” and “front hole” to refer to the vagina.

Male, female terms reinforcing heteronormative views.


Some of the team members of the EBB Language Project. Headed by Dr. Cheng, the group aims to change gender pronouns and do away with two genders’ terminologies.

Crowdsourcing terminologies

The project crowdsources terminology in ecology and evolutionary biology. The objective is to correct or mitigate terms that may be harmful or offensive.

The “young scientists” also hope to identify potential replacement terms. EEB comprises primarily young women with PhDs from the United States and Canada.


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