Identifying and definitional attributes
|Metadata item type:||Data Element|
The identification of a person as either male, female or not exclusively male or female, as represented by a code.
|Data Element Concept:||Person—sex/gender|
Data element attributes
Collection and usage attributes
The term 'sex' refers to a person's biological characteristics. A person's sex is usually described as being either male or female; some people may have both male and female characteristics, or neither male nor female characteristics, or other sexual characteristics.
Sex is assigned at birth and is relatively fixed. However, a person's sex may change during their lifetime as a result of procedures commonly referred to as sex change, gender reassignment, gender affirmation, transsexual surgery, transgender reassignment or sexual reassignment. Throughout this process, which may be over a considerable period of time, sex may be recorded as either male, female or other.
In general, both sex and gender should not be collected in a single collection instrument. The Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender recommends the preferred Australian Government approach of collecting and using gender information, with sex only being collected where there is a legitimate need to know the biological characteristics of the target population. It should be recognised that in some cases an individual may choose to report their gender when sex is being requested.
Organisations should ensure when they collect sex and/or gender information they use the correct terminology for the information they are seeking. Male and female are predominantly associated with the set of biological attributes that define the different types of sexes, while masculine and feminine characteristics are predominantly associated with the set of factors that make up gender. However, it should be recognised that male/female and masculine/feminine are sometimes used interchangeably to refer to sex and/or gender.
CODE O Other
Should be used for babies for whom sex has not been determined for whatever reason.
Other refers to any person who does not exclusively identify as either male or female. Terms such as 'indeterminate', 'intersex', 'non-binary', and 'unspecified' are variously used to describe the 'Other' category of sex/gender.
CODE N Not stated/inadequately described
Is not to be used on primary collection forms. It is primarily for use in administrative collections when transferring data from data sets where the item has not been collected.
Source and reference attributes
Department of Health Tasmania
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016. Standard for Sex and Gender Variables (Cat. no. 1200.0.55.012). Viewed 26 July 2016.
Justice and Related Legislation (Marriage and Gender Amendments) Act 2019 https://www.legislation.tas.gov.au/view/whole/html/asmade/act-2019-007
|Related metadata references:|
Is used in the formation of Episode of admitted patient care—diagnosis related group, code (AR-DRG v 10.0) ANNA
|Implementation in Data Set Specifications:|