Person—gender, code N

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Data Element
Short name:Gender
Synonymous names:Gender identity
METeOR identifier:521492
Registration status:Housing assistance, Proposed 28/06/2013
Health, Proposed 28/06/2013
Early Childhood, Proposed 28/06/2013
Homelessness, Proposed 28/06/2013
Indigenous, Endorsed 05/09/2014
Community Services (retired), Not progressed 23/01/2018
Definition:The behavioural, cultural or psychological traits typically associated with a specific sex indicating the sex with which the individual considers or desires to be associated, as represented by a code.
Data Element Concept:Person—gender

Value domain attributes

Representational attributes

Representation class:Code
Data type:Number
Maximum character length:1
Permissible values:
3Gender other/diverse
Supplementary values:
9Not stated/inadequately described

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:

CODE 3     Gender other/diverse

This code may include a person that does not fall within the traditional binary notions of sex and gender (male and females). This may include people who identify as a gender different to their birth sex or as neither male nor female. Other terms commonly associated include trans, transgender, transsexual, gender queer, pan-gendered, androgynous and inter-gender. Some cultures may have their own terms for gender identities outside male and female.


The Australian Bureau of Statistics has commenced a review of its Sex Standard.  See Review of the Sex Standard/Potential new Gender Standard.

Source and reference attributes


Australian Government guidelines on the recognition of sex and gender, Attorney-General's Department. Commonwealth of Australia July 2013.

Data element attributes

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:

Gender is not the same as Sex which is determined by biology. A person's sex and gender may not necessarily be the same. A person's preferred gender may or may not correspond with the sex or gender assigned at birth.

Gender is included as an identifier to support identification and communication with individuals and represents the gender to which the person prefers to be associated.

The preferred Australian Government approach is to collect and use gender information. Information regarding sex would ordinarily not be required. Departments and agencies should ensure when they collect sex and/or gender information they use the correct terminology for the information they are seeking.

Collection methods:

Codes 1 (Male), 2 (Female) and 3 (Intersex/indeterminate) may be mapped to M and F and X respectively for collection purposes, however, they should be stored within information systems as codes 1 and 2 and 3 as above.

Information about a person's sex should only be collected where there is a legitimate need for that information, e.g. if a service or benefit to be provided to the individual is directly related to biological sex. However, the necessity of a medical service or associated benefit should be determined by the physical need regardless a person's recorded sex and/or gender.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Australian Government guidelines on the recognition of sex and gender, Attorney-General's Department. Commonwealth of Australia July 2013.

Person and provider identification in healthcare, AS 4846:2014: Gender Identity section 5.6.

Reference documents:

AS 4590-2006: Client interchange Australian Standard for Gender section 3.2.6.

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:

Has been superseded by Person—gender, code X Health, Standard 11/05/2017, ACT Health, Final 02/01/2019

See also Person—sex, code A Commonwealth Department of Health, Standard 14/10/2015

See also Person—sex, code N Housing assistance, Standard 10/02/2006, Health, Superseded 11/05/2017, Early Childhood, Superseded 24/07/2018, Homelessness, Superseded 10/08/2018, WA Health, Draft 23/08/2012, Independent Hospital Pricing Authority, Standard 01/11/2012, Indigenous, Archived 16/10/2017, Commonwealth Department of Health, Candidate 16/07/2015, Disability, Standard 07/10/2014, Children and Families, Standard 22/11/2016, Community Services (retired), Standard 25/08/2005, National Health Performance Authority (retired), Retired 01/07/2016

See also Person—transgender indicator, code N Health, Superseded 28/04/2016, Community Services (retired), Standard 06/02/2012

See also Person—transgender indicator, prisoner health yes/no/unknown code N Health, Standard 28/04/2016

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:
All attributes +

Bringing them Home/Link Up Counsellors cluster Indigenous, Endorsed 16/09/2014

DSS specific attributes +

Bringing Them Home/Link Up Counsellors employment characteristics cluster Indigenous, Endorsed 07/12/2017

DSS specific attributes +

Ear nose and throat services patient cluster Indigenous, Endorsed 05/09/2014

DSS specific attributes +