‘Just say women’: American Cancer Society is slammed for saying ‘individuals with a cervix’ instead of ‘women’ in their latest pap test guidance
- The American Cancer Society has been slammed for advice telling ‘individuals with a cervix’ to go for cancer screenings, rather than ‘women’
- The ACS appears to have used ‘individuals with a cervix’, rather than ‘women’ in their guidance because transgender individuals can also have a cervix
- Cervical cancer screening is now recommended to start at 25, instead of 21, and HPV testing should begin at 25 rather than 30
- It follows a controversy involving JK Rowling, when she mocked the phrase ‘people who menstruate’
The American Cancer Society has been slammed for using the phrase ‘individuals with a cervix’ in its latest pap screening advice, rather than women.
Cervical cancer screening is now recommended to start at 25, instead of 21, and HPV testing should begin at 25 rather than 30. The guidelines were last updated in 2012.
The ACS appears to have used ‘individuals with a cervix’, rather than ‘women’ in their guidance because transgender, non-binary and gender-nonconforming individuals can also have a cervix.
But the phrasing was ridiculed online, with one Twitter user saying: ‘Individuals with a cervix is a long way to just say women.’
The ACS has updated its 2012 guidelines and now recommends pap tests begin at 25, not 21
Blogger Matt Walsh told his 410,000 followers: ‘I’m pretty sure there’s a word for these individuals but I can’t be certain.’
Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, sarcastically asked how he knew if the guidelines applied to him.
‘How do I find out if I have a cervix? Do I need a scan? Or is there some sort of general concept that identified individuals with a cervix?’ he tweeted.
Some people, however, leapt to the defense of the ACS and CNN.
They argued that it was ‘the correct way to phrase that statement’ to make it inclusive and inoffensive.
Criticism of the phrase was fierce, but there were a few people who defended the wording
The controversy echoes one involving JK Rowling last month, when the Harry Potter author mocked the global development website Devex for its report about ‘people who menstruate.’
‘”People who menstruate.” I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?’ Rowling tweeted on June 6.
She is yet to weigh in on the ACS phrasing.
The Harry Potter’s tweet sparked a firestorm online and a wave of condemnation and debate