This was in my psychology book. I thought it might be useful to those who can’t think if gender-neutral terms.
This is ridiculous. The male pronoun is supposed to be the gender neutral one to begin with. The solution is simply to reclaim its proper usage by using it the way it was intended to be used instead of stepping around eggshells with this discombobulated solution.
Defaulting on male pronouns does not make something gender neutral, and there are actual people who are agender, gender neutral or generally do not subscribe to the gender binary, and so a number of these terms would make people feel uncomfortable.
In the linguistics community there’s been a call for a gender-neutral pronoun that would be some combination of “she” and “he” such as a “heshe” or a “shehe”. But even if they came to a consensus, regular usage of this pronoun would depend on society’s widespread adaptation to it.
Considering how unsuccessful the US is at global conformity as an example, (we still write our dates as MM/DD/YY, even though the internationally agreed format is YYYY/MM/DD; and don’t even get me started on metric VS US customary), the likelihood of the adaptation of a gender-neutral pronoun doesn’t look so good.
Or maybe, we’ll just keep misappropriating “they” until it becomes exclusively singular in usage like “you”.