National Health Service routinely asks pre-teen boys if they are pregnant

The poster goes on to explain that “only people who have internal reproductive organs have the ability to become pregnant,” and that staff “check this with each individual, and conduct a pregnancy check accordingly.”

A hospital in Scotland is trying out new so-called gender-inclusive language that involves asking biological boys and men between the ages of 12 and 55 if they are pregnant, and referring to biological women as “people with internal reproductive organs.”

In a poster displayed at an NHS Tayside hospital, patients are told that it is the legal responsibility of the hospital to establish whether there is a possibility of pregnancy prior to performing procedures involving radiation; therefore, “irrespective of your gender you may be asked to complete a form about pregnancy before some evaluations.”

The poster goes on to explain that “only people who have internal reproductive organs have the ability to become pregnant,” and that staff “check this with each individual, and conduct a pregnancy check accordingly.”

The words women, females, or girls do not appear once in the poster.

According to the Daily Mail, NHS Tayside said the poster is in line with best practice guidelines and was being tried out at a few select hospitals.

Some experts were quick to point out that the attempt at being inclusive has resulted in a loss of meaning and clarity.

“Over-the-top and elaborate efforts to be inclusive for certain groups often end up excluding other groups,” Stella O’Malley, a psychotherapist and founder of Genspect, told the Daily Mail.

“The NHS should revert to simple and clear language if they want to help the most people possible. But this poster is not fit for purpose because it’s pretty incomprehensible,” she continued. “People who do not speak fluent English will find it difficult to understand this poster. I wonder who decided that their needs were deemed less important.”

O’Malley also told the Daily Mail that it’s not just women and girls who might be negatively impacted by this imprecise language. She expressed concern about the impact it could have on boys undergoing treatment for serious illnesses.

“Young boys undergoing cancer treatment don’t need to be asked if they are pregnant,” she explained.

O’Malley also pointed out that saying that only people who have internal reproductive organs can get pregnant is also not accurate.

“It is also factually inaccurate because males have internal reproductive organs e.g. vas deferens, prostate and urethra,” she said.

O’Malley was not the only health care professional to voice her opposition to the use of such language.

Dr. Jenny Gamble, a professor of midwifery at Coventry University, told the Daily Mail that the poster was a “dreadful example of health communication about such an important issue.”

“Using the term ‘internal reproductive organs’ is so unclear,” she explained. “A basic principle of any health communication activity should be to enable people to understand their health and access the right services. This example fails this basic principle.”

“Many well-educated women do not know the basics of their own biology and would struggle to know what were the ‘internal reproductive organs,'” she continued. “Many people – both sexes – would struggle with categorizing male reproductive organs as internal or external. Many people do not know the definition of an organ.”

Professor Gamble told the Daily Mail she didn’t think transgender and non-binary people would miss out on health care services if the poster used the word woman because “females that have a gender identity as trans-men or non-binary know they are female and will not be missed by referring to women.”

There are numerous examples of the word woman being removed from healthcare literature while the word man continues to be widely used. The Post Millennial reported recently that Biden’s CDC had removed the word woman from a section of its advice for administering the flu vaccine during pregnancy, and in 2021, the once-respected medical journal The Lancet found itself at the center of a Twitter storm for referring to women as “bodies with vaginas” on its cover.

However, it would be difficult to find a more offensive, dehumanizing use of “inclusive language” than that used by autism advocacy group Autistic UK, who encouraged “autistics with a cervix” to get a pap smear.