This book is dedicated to the students of Butte College and worldwide. The Biology Department faculty at Butte College have created this book as part of our effort to help make education more affordable. Our goal was to create a book that helps students understand how human systems function and how humans fit into the world around us.
In a few chapters, we have incorporated more inclusive gender-neutral pronouns, such as singular they/their/them. Around 1795, the language authorities Lindley Murray, Joseph Priestly, and Hugh Blair, amongst others, campaigned against pronoun irregularities in pronoun use, such as lack of agreement in gender and number. Without coining words, this can only be done in the third-person singular by use of compound terms like “his or her”. Grammarians in 1879, 1922, 1931, 1957, and the 1970s have accepted “they” as a singular term that could be used in place of “he” or “he or she,” though sometimes limiting it to informal constructions. Others in 1795, 1825, 1863, 1898, 1926, and 1982 argued against it for various reasons. And whatever the grammarians might argue, people have been using the singular “they” for about the last 600 years, though (as mentioned earlier) it can only be applied in certain cases. If new gender-neutral pronouns are not adopted, we are sure that singular “they” will still be a point of contention for centuries to come. For further information on the use of singular “they/them/their” throughout the centuries, see the large body of information that Henry Churchyard has compiled on this subject (LGBTQ+ Resource center; July 2020).
We wish the very best for all our students as they move forward in their goals!
Technical support: LibreTexts Libraries, UC Davis
This project could not have been possible without the voluminous support of Dr. Delmar Larsen and Henry Agnew. They helped us overcome many technical difficulties during the creation of this book.
Financial support: The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges Open Educational Resource Initiative (ASCCC OERI)
Award number 54 (2019)
Award number 207 (2020)
Content support: CK-12 foundation and Openstax
This book is a product of a curation of the OER content from many sources. Butte College Biology Department thanks the following authors:
- Barbara Akre
- Dana Desonie
- Douglas Wilkin
- Dr. Katherine Harris
- Jean Brainard
- Jessica Harwood
- Laura Guerin
- Lensyl Urbano
- Marcos Gridi-Papp
- Milton Huling Ph.D.
- Niamh Gray-Wilson
- Rachel Henderson