Australian Bureau of Statistics
Review of the Sex Standard
REVIEW OF THE SEX STANDARD / POTENTIAL NEW GENDER STANDARD
The Sex Standard is used in all ABS household surveys. Sex is a fundamental demographic characteristic used in social and population analysis. It is a core cross-tabulation for practically all social statistical topics such as employment, education, and health. Sex, along with age, is also essential to the production of population estimates and projections.
The Sex Standard provides:
This standard provides a basis for the ABS to collect statistics relating to people but also provides a standard for other organisations to collect data about sex in surveys and administrative collections.
The review will focus on three areas;
(i) The capacity and need to distinguish the concept of sex from the concept of gender for different types of statistical collections and output, and whether there are grounds to develop a new gender standard to complement the revised sex standard. Although the terms sex and gender are often used interchangeably, they are separate concepts and may be important for different types of statistics. Sex refers to a person's biological sex and associated physical characteristics. Gender refers to the way a person self identifies and presents them self to the community, such as their name, outward appearance, mannerisms, and dress. A person's sex is not necessarily consistent with their gender.
(ii) Within a statistical environment, the capacity and need to collect information on gender/sex for those that do not identify themselves as either male or female, and who do not fall within the definition of the 'Intersex or Indeterminate' category of the current Sex Standard (i.e. genetic condition resulting in both male or female characteristics).
(iii) The practicality of what can be collected and output in different types of statistical collections.
Interested parties may provide comments and submissions to the ABS by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Of specific interest would be comments on the key issues noted above. The time period for submissions has been extended until close of business on Thursday 28 February 2013.
This page first published 14 September 2012, last updated 28 November 2012