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

Person—gender, code X

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Element
Short name:Help on this termGender of a person
METeOR identifier:Help on this term741842
Registration status:Help on this termHealth, Candidate 06/10/2021
Definition:Help on this term

How a person describes their gender, as represented by a code.

Data Element Concept:Person—gender

Value domain attributes

Representational attributes

Representation class:Help on this termCode
Data type:Help on this termString
Format:Help on this termX
Maximum character length:Help on this term1
Permissible values:Help on this term
ValueMeaning
1Man, or boy, or male
2Woman, or girl, or female
3Non-binary
4Different term
5Prefer not to answer
Supplementary values:Help on this term
9Not stated/inadequately described

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

This Value Domain is based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics Standard for sex, gender, variations of sex characteristics and sexual orientation variables (ABS 2021). The values are defined as follows:

CODE 1     Man, or boy, or male

A person who describes their gender as man, or boy, or male.

CODE 2     Woman, or girl, or female  

A person who describes their gender as woman, or girl, or female.

CODE 3     Non-binary

A person who describes their gender as non-binary.

CODE 4     Different term

A person who describes their gender as a term other than man/boy/male, woman/girl/female or non-binary.

CODE 5     Prefer not to answer

A person who prefers not to respond on how they describe their gender.

 

Alternative Codes

The ABS Standard also allows for the following Alternative Code system, which can be mapped to the Codes specified above:

CODE M     Man, or boy, or male

CODE F     Woman, or girl, or female  

CODE X     Non-binary

CODE T     Different term

CODE Z     Prefer not to answer

 

Mapping Codes

The ABS Standard also allows for the categories for gender to be mapped as follows:

  • Man, or boy

Includes CODE 1

  • Woman, or girl

Includes CODE 2

  • Non-binary

Includes CODES 3 and 4 

  • Not stated

Includes CODES 5 and 9.

Collection methods:Help on this term

CODE 9     Not stated or inadequately described.

This supplementary value is used to code inadequately described responses and non-responses for gender. It 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.

Comments:Help on this term

Former versions of this Value Domain contained only three permissible values:

CODE 1   Male

CODE 2   Female

CODE 3   Other (formerly 'Gender other/diverse')

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this term

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Origin:Help on this term

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2021. Standard for sex, gender, variations of sex characteristics and sexual orientation variables. Canberra: ABS, viewed 6 October 2021 https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/standards/standard-sex-gender-variations-sex-characteristics-and-sexual-orientation-variables/latest-release 

AGD (Attorney-General's Department) 2015. Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender, viewed 6 October 2021 https://www.ag.gov.au/rights-and-protections/publications/australian-government-guidelines-recognition-sex-and-gender 

Data element attributes

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

Gender is a social and cultural concept. It is about social and cultural differences in identity, expression and experience as a man, boy, woman, girl, or non-binary person. Non-binary is an umbrella term describing gender identities that are not exclusively male or female.

Gender includes the following concepts:

  • Gender identity is about who a person feels themself to be
  • Gender expression is the way a person expresses their gender. A person's gender expression may also vary depending on the context, for instance expressing different genders at work and home
  • Gender experience describes a person's alignment with the sex recorded for them at birth i.e. a cis experience or a trans experience.

The terms sex and gender are interrelated and often used interchangeably, however they are two distinct concepts:

  • Sex is understood in relation to sex characteristics. Sex recorded at birth refers to what was determined by sex characteristics observed at birth or infancy
  • Gender is about social and cultural differences in identity, expression and experience. 

While they are two related concepts, caution should be exercised when comparing counts for sex with those for gender.

The Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender (AGD 2015) 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.

Collection methods:Help on this term

Standard Question Module

The following standard question module is based on that recommended in the Australian Bureau of Statistics Standard for sex, gender, variations of sex characteristics and sexual orientation variables (ABS 2021):

How [do/does] [you/Person's name/they] describe [your/their] gender?

Gender refers to current gender, which may be different to sex recorded at birth and may be different to what is indicated on legal documents.

 

Please [tick/mark/select] one box:
[ ] Man, or boy, or male
[ ] Woman, or girl, or female
[ ] Non-binary
[ ] [I/They] use a different term (please specify)
[ ] Prefer not to answer


Mandatory elements
The following elements must be included:

  • The word 'gender' in the question to clearly articulate the concept being collected
  • Label the response options "Man, or boy, or male", "Woman, or girl, or female", "Non-binary", "[I/they] use a different term (please specify)", and "Prefer not to answer"
  • A write-in facility is available when the "[I/they] use a different term (please specify)" response option is selected
  • Including a note to respondents that "Gender refers to current gender, which may be different to sex recorded at birth and may be different to what is indicated on legal documents"
  • Only one response is permitted
  • If this question is interviewer administered, the question must always be asked as written and no assumptions made by the interviewer.

Recommended elements

The following elements are recommended for inclusion:

  • Use inclusive language (e.g. "they" or "their" rather than "he/she" or "his/her")
  • If both sex and gender questions are included, ask the sex question first and note that a separate question on gender is asked in the survey 
  • If both sex and gender questions are included, ask both on the same page of the instrument if practical.

The Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender recommend "departments and agencies should refrain from making assumptions about a person's sex and/or gender identity based on indicators such as their name, voice or appearance" (AGD 2015.)

The inclusion of the write-in facility for 'Different term' as a response option recognises that there are a range of terms used to describe gender which is neither male nor female, and enhances data quality. Where the "Different term" code has been selected for gender, the data element Person—gender, text X[X(99)] may be used to capture any further (optional) specification of gender descriptors.

NB. Where written responses for CODE 4 (T) 'Different term' indicate a variation of one of 'Man, or boy, or male', 'Woman, or girl, or female' or 'Non-binary', those responses may be coded to the associated label.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this term

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Origin:Help on this term

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2021. Standard for sex, gender, variations of sex characteristics and sexual orientation variables. Canberra: ABS, viewed 6 October 2021 https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/standards/standard-sex-gender-variations-sex-characteristics-and-sexual-orientation-variables/latest-release 

AGD (Attorney-General's Department) 2015. Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender, viewed 6 October 2021 https://www.ag.gov.au/rights-and-protections/publications/australian-government-guidelines-recognition-sex-and-gender 

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Supersedes Person—gender, code X Health, Standard 11/05/2017, ACT Health, Final 02/01/2019

See also Person—gender, text X[X(99)] Health, Candidate 06/10/2021

See also Person—sex, code X Health, Candidate 06/10/2021

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:Help on this term

Alcohol and other drug treatment services NBEDS 2022–23 Health, Candidate 12/10/2021

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