Australian Government: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare METeOR Home Page

Person—sex, Tasmanian code A

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Element
Short name:Help on this termSex
METeOR identifier:Help on this term689847
Registration status:Help on this termTasmanian Health, Archived 19/06/2020
Definition:Help on this term

The distinction between male, female, and others who do not have biological characteristics typically associated with either the male or female sex, as represented by a code.

Context:Help on this term

Sex is a core metadata item in a wide range of social, labour and demographic statistics.

Data Element Concept:Person—sex

Value domain attributes

Representational attributes

Representation class:Help on this termCode
Data type:Help on this termString
Format:Help on this termA
Maximum character length:Help on this term1
Permissible values:Help on this term
ValueMeaning
FFemale
IIntersex or indeterminate
MMale
Supplementary values:Help on this term
NNot stated/inadequately described

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

Diagnosis and procedure codes should be checked against the national ICD-10-AM sex edits, unless the person is undergoing, or has undergone a sex change or has a genetic condition resulting in a conflict between sex and ICD-10-AM code.

CODE I     Intersex or indeterminate 

Persons who have mixed or non-binary biological characteristics (if known), or a non-binary sex assigned at birth.

Terms such as 'indeterminate', 'intersex', 'non-binary', and 'unspecified' are variously used to describe the 'Other' category of sex. The label 'Other' is being used as a more descriptive term but has not been widely agreed within the general community.

Sex refers to the chromosomal, gonadal and anatomical characteristics associated with biological sex. Where there is an inconsistency between anatomical and chromosomal characteristics, sex is based on anatomical characteristics.

Comments:Help on this term

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016. Standard for Sex and Gender Variables (Cat. no. 1200.0.55.012). Viewed 26 July 2016.

Attorney-General's Department 2015. Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender. Viewed 26 July 2016.

Data element attributes

Collection and usage attributes

Collection methods:Help on this term

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.

Collection of sex excludes gender information, which is interrelated but conceptually distinct. The concept of sex is based on the physical or biological aspects of a person's body while the concept of gender relates to the way a person feels, presents and is recognised within the general community and may refer to outward social markers such as their name, outward appearance, mannerisms and dress. Sexual orientation is a separate concept to sex and gender, involving a person's emotional or sexual attraction to another person, and is not covered in the collection of sex information.

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 I     Intersex or indeterminate

Is normally used for babies for whom sex has not been determined for whatever reason.

Should not generally be used on data collection forms completed by the respondent.

Should only be used if the person or respondent volunteers that the person is intersex or where it otherwise becomes clear during the collection process that the individual is neither male nor female.

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

Origin:Help on this term

Australian Capital Territory 2003. Legislation (Gay, Lesbian and Transgender) Amendment Act 2003

Reference documents:Help on this term

AS4846 Health Care Provider Identification, 2014, Sydney: Standards Australia

AS4590 Interchange of Client Information, 2008, Sydney: Standards Australia

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Is used in the formation of Episode of admitted patient care—diagnosis related group, code (AR-DRG v 9.0) ANNA Tasmanian Health, Archived 19/06/2020

Supersedes Person—sex, Tasmanian code A Tasmanian Health, Archived 10/01/2018

Has been superseded by Person—sex/gender, Tasmanian code A Tasmanian Health, Endorsed 19/06/2020

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:Help on this term
All attributes +

Tasmanian Demographics Data Set - 2018 Tasmanian Health, Archived 05/04/2019

DSS specific attributes +

Tasmanian Demographics Data Set - 2019 Tasmanian Health, Archived 17/06/2020

DSS specific attributes +
My items Help on this term
Download Help on this term