“It’s a human need, which stands behind it [to make aware of all gender identities].”
This perfectly sums up why this topic is so important for us.
In short, our project is a contraceptive method based on tracking the natural hormone cycle. However, this led to the problem that not only women have to be addressed, but also every person who has a hormone pattern based on estradiol, progesterone and luteinizing hormone (LH). , this is a topic that we cannot solve solely with natural science and it has hardly been discussed in the iGEM Community so far. Therefore, we have set ourselves the goal to work out a concept for the future iGEM generations that will ensure an inclusive linguistic design with regard to gender diversity. Furthermore, we would like to increase the attention the topic receives worldwide. But let us start.
Why is gendering so important for our product?
Let’s get the definitions straight
Sex indicates to biological aspects. These include chromosomes, hormonal balance, gonads, as well as internal and external genital reproductive organs. Sex however is not the exact opposite of gender nor the ‘natural’ form of gender, as the social-cultural construction of gender also affects the way we understand the sex. We understand sex as a spectrum rather than the two categories male and female, as they are often understood in the gender binary system. 
Cisgender describes people whose gender ascribed at birth matches their gender identity. Cis gender corresponds to the social norm. This means that in our heteronormative
Transgender (also Trans*) is used as an umbrella-term for people whose gender identity does not match the gender assigned at birth. 
Gender binary- the binary gender system assumes that there are only two genders, male and female. It does not allow other genders or intermediate levels. The gender binary applies to every part of society, e.g. the social roles, gender identities, the sex, etc. The gender binary hides the existence of people who do not feel represented in it. The gender binary is (re)created in everyday life through social practices, institutions, norms, etc. If it is contested, it is also enforced by violence, which leads to dangerous and hurtful situations for people who do not identify themselves within the gender binary.
Intersex describes a person who cannot be clearly assigned to either the normative conception of masculinity or femininity. This can be hormonal, chromosomal or due to the formation of the internal or external sex organs. Intersex makes no statement about a person’s gender identity.
Non-binary applies to persons whose gender is outside the binary-system.
Generic Masculine denotes a German habit or method using grammatically masculine terms as the standard personal form for gender mixed groups. However, this form is still associated with men and is not gender-neutral, therefore it hides other gender identities, which is not solely an issue of language but can for example lead to falsely influence research or similar. Therefore, it should be avoided .
Gendering in iGEM - What happened so far
We suggest that there is always room for improvement in understanding unique inclusivity problems and making our communities more inclusive. – iGEM Diversity & Inclusion Committee
The Diversity & Inclusion Committee pursues the idea of inclusion in iGEM. In this context we have contacted them to clarify general questions. The committee was inspired by the Paris Bettencourt team and was formed in 2013. This team already wanted to draw attention to gender diversity in iGEM in 2013. They were particularly interested in the gender distribution of iGEM and in Synthetic Biology in general. The Committee would like to expand this point by increasing the quota of women in iGEM. Furthermore, in 2019 a LTBTQ+ Meetup was held and workshops on this topic were offered. The committee encourages the use of gender-inclusive phrases, asking people what gender identity they identify with instead of making assumptions and offering surveys with different response options, allowing gender selection for each person. We would like to spin this idea even further and provide assistance for future iGEM generations on how to deal with the topic of gender and how to adapt their language to be gender inclusive.
Relevance of the topic in 2020
For all these reasons, it can be seen that gender diversity has actually had a relevance for much longer, but is still not established in the whole of society. We would now like to contribute to strengthen the relevance of this topic, to raise awareness worldwide and to turn inclusive language into normality in academia and especially the STEM field.
Gender in everyday life - A summary
For many people the gender-sensitive language feels unfamiliar, because it has not yet arrived in the mainstream and is not used by everyone. It is also taught that spoken language is meant for everyone. Nevertheless gender-sensitive language wants to bring attention to the gender identities that are usually hidden, women for example but also gender identities that are not conform with the gender binary. Hence the unfamiliar and uncomfortable feeling people might experience when using gender-sensitive language for the first time is actually something to encourage as it draws attention to an uncomfortable issue: The usage of the Generic Masculine in German makes other gender identities invisible.
Starting from the German language, gendering can be implemented in two ways: Making visible or neutralizing. Making visible is about recognizing and appreciating the genders of the person addressed directly while reading. In German, for example, gender-* is used to include women, men and all other possible genders. In neutralization, gender-neutral formulations are used to indirectly include all genders. 
In English this is different: Nouns have no grammatical gender, so neutralization is not necessary. Nevertheless, the English language also reflects historically grown patriarchal structures and excludes those that do not identify with the binary system. The use of plural personal pronouns have thus become established for people who do not identify with the binary system. , 
Gender and language
Relevance of gender in the natural sciences
How should we deal with our findings?
- 1. Avoid the generic masculine, if your language requires a gramatical gender.
- 2. Do not use paraphrases, but state exactly who is meant.
- Example: Menstruating person
- Example: Menstruating person
- Example: they, them, their, theirs
- Example: business person instead of businessman
- Example: Prof. Dr.
-  A. Steinhauer and G. Diewald, Richtig gendern. Wie Sie angemessen und verständlich schreiben. Berlin: Bibliographisches Institut GmbH, 2017.
-  A. Gäckle, “ÜberzeuGENDERe Sprache Leitfaden für eine geschlechtersensible und inklusive Sprache,” Köln, 2020.
-  National Council of Teachers of English, “Statement on Gender and Language,” 2018. [Online]. Available: https://ncte.org/statement/genderfairuseoflang/.
-  S. Oertelt-Prigione and V. Regitz-Zagrosek, Sex and gender aspects in clinical medicine. 2013.