Edit: This question pertains to American English usage. Whether one likes it or not, obscene or taboo words come with degrees of strength, so that 'dick' and 'cock' are synonyms but one is weaker and ...
When the nominative articles for masculine and feminine nouns were exchanged for þe and cases for nouns were lost, it would make sense for masculine and feminine to become a common gender like in ...
I am writing something for university and I am talking about how a patient might hurt... himself/herself? itself? (talking about the patient) If it was something informal I would use themselves but ...