This research has been focused on cross-national and cross-gender applications of such theories.

The use of "cross-gender" means across genders, in the same way that "cross-national" means across nations. However, my concern is that readers will think I mean "transgender." How can I revise this sentence to avoid such confusion?

  • 2
    If cross-national could mean trans-national, there's always that risk. The entire sentence would better be rephrased more clearly as across nationalities and genders or some better way. (You could probably be meaning geographies, not nationalities, I'm not sure.)
    – Kris
    Oct 4, 2012 at 15:09
  • Yes, geographies, not nationalities.
    – Bob
    Oct 4, 2012 at 15:25
  • 1
    Perhaps the intended meaning is more clear in context, but here it looks like “cross-national” means nation-to-nation and “cross-gender” unavoidably means male-to-female or female-to-male applications, albeit not in a transgendering sense. Anyway, the sentence is pompous research-paper jargon; rewrite it without using any of the terms focus, cross, national, gender, application. Oct 4, 2012 at 16:12
  • @jwpat7 It is a research paper -- how can it not have research-paper jargon, pompous or otherwise? Lol.
    – Kris
    Oct 5, 2012 at 4:13

5 Answers 5


This research has been focused on applications of such theories across geographies and genders.

is what I would suggest from the top of my head.


The pan- prefix does not have the same connotation, so try pan-gender applications.

Online Etymology Dictionary:

prefix meaning "all, every, whole, all-inclusive," from Gk. pan-, combining form of pas (neut. pan, masculine and neuter genitive pantos) "all," from PIE *pant- "all" (with derivatives found only in Greek and Tocharian). Commonly used as a prefix in Greek, in modern times often with nationality names, the first example of which seems to have been Panslavism (1846). Also panislamic (1881), pan-American (1889), pan-German (1892), pan-African (1900), pan-European (1901), pan-Arabism (1930).

  • However, pan- necessarily implies all, not across some.
    – Kris
    Oct 4, 2012 at 15:11
  • @Kris True, but where do you get "across some"? OP did not write it.
    – MetaEd
    Oct 4, 2012 at 18:20

You can consider using gender-neutral:

  • Applicable or available to either gender (to both males and females).

    The women's sleeping quarters are on the left side of the dormitory, the men's are on the right; gender-neutral restrooms are located in the middle.

    Many modern laws use gender-neutral constructions like "he or she" in place of the old, supposedly unmarked "he".

  • Not indicating or restricted by gender, and thus applicable or available to those of any gender and to those of no gender.

    Gender-neutral pronouns like "ey" and "ze" are used by many genderqueer, intersex and neutrois individuals.

  • 1
    How would we fit that into the sentence in question? :(
    – Kris
    Oct 4, 2012 at 15:22
  • 1
    Either you misunderstood the question or I phrased it poorly. I do not mean "gender neutral." I am referring to research that makes comparisons across genders, in the same way that some research might study comparisons across nations. In the same way that I do not mean "nation neutral," I do not mean "gender neutral."
    – Bob
    Oct 4, 2012 at 15:23
  • @Bob Then I would suggest rephrasing your sentence as Kris and Bill have suggested. There is no word, afaik, that accurately suggests a comparison between the two primary genders without potentially implying the neutral. Apparently, intergender does exist. Oct 4, 2012 at 15:37

Why not just say across genders instead of risking being misunderstood by using an ambiguous term?

The other alternative is to use cross-gender and then add an explanatory parenthetical remark, e.g., "(across genders, not transgender). That way you can use your preferred term because you've stipulated what it means on first use.


Unisex (undifferentiated as to sex) would often be suitable, but perhaps not in OP's context. Partly because it would imply a single [application of such theories] applicable to both male and female, and partly because it wouldn't sit well next to cross-national.

I suggest rewording to something like...

This research has been focused on applications of such theories that transcend the boundaries of nationality and gender.

EDIT: Apparently OP's context is concerned with differences across those boundaries, rather than "neutral/unaffected by" those boundaries. In which case focus on/exploit/whatever could be used instead of transcend. Wiothout knowing exactly why the differences are significant, I can't say which word would be best.

  • Nope, that is not what I mean. The way that "cross-national" is used is to mean "comparisons across nations." I need something similar for gender. Saying "transcends the boundaries of nationality" is not what I mean, both because I mean geographies and not citizenship, but also because it loses the "comparisons across" meaning.
    – Bob
    Oct 4, 2012 at 15:31
  • @Bob: In that case, just change transcend to explore, focus on or similar. I did say you want "something like" my suggestion. But I must say if comparisons across those boundaries is where the focus lies, I doubt your original would normally be thus interpreted anyway. You'd have wanted the prefix inter- rather than cross-, I think. Oct 4, 2012 at 15:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.