Stack Exchange profile: “This user prefers to keep an air of mystery about them”

When a user does not fill his “about me” section in his profile, the following sentence appears:

Apparently, this user prefers to keep an air of mystery about them.

To my knowledge (which are restricted I admit), it should be

Apparently, this user prefers to keep an air of mystery about him/himself.

I’m pretty sure that I’m wrong, however I really don’t understand the use of plural in “them“.

Could you please explain me the underlying grammar rule that justifies such a term? Also, I’d be happy to know if replacing them by him or himself would be correct.

Answer

When the gender of the person is unknown, ‘them’ can be used in the sentence. Though, ‘him/himself’ is also a correct.

Please refer this blog that talks about usage of plural pronoun as singular

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Surb , Answer Author : geekeffect

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