Communication, both verbal and non-verbal, can enrich or dehumanize life. Discriminatory communication can be injurious to racial, ethnic, female, older persons, children, and disabled groups, and exists in the mass media, at work, and in face-to-face meetings.
With older age groups, mass media tends to patronize and stereotype. Stories dwell on the problems and foibles of old age rather than its rewards and joys. It is invariable portrayed as a time of waning physical and mental powers, typified by canes, wheelchairs and persons who are child-like, self-indulgent, helpless and a bother to have around.
Non-discriminatory titles such as flight attendants, firefighters, letter carriers, sales clerks, spouses and chairperson go a long way to contributing to non-sexist communication.