Pronoun Usage in the College of Social Work
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Social Work Honors Theses; 2020
There is a substantial body of literature dedicated to queer social work students' experiences in their programs, as well as social work students' knowledge of queer topics. However, there is currently a lack of research on pronoun usage in the context of social work education. This study analyzed the responses of social work students at The Ohio State University to a mixed-methods online survey about queer topics, with particular attention to pronoun usage. The results showed that students desire more resources on pronoun usage and transgender issues, and are uncomfortable correcting themselves or others when misgendering occurs. Instructors are also not consistently asking students for their pronouns; over half of students reported no instructors asking for their pronouns during introductions in the Spring 2020 semester. Additionally, all students in this study who identified as trans had experienced being misgendered in their programs. This is likely not an experience unique to the College of Social Work and speaks more broadly to the issue of misgendering on college campuses. Implications of this study include increasing educational resources on trans issues, targeted marketing of queer-focused social work courses, and implementing gender-neutral language in coursework and syllabi.
Academic Major: Social Work