Learning patterns/Gender identity
What problem does this solve?
Whether you're conducting a survey or collecting metrics or statistics and want to know the gender makeup of your respondents, you need to be sensitive to the fact that not everyone fits into the standard female–male gender binary.
What is the solution?
Surveys frequently include questions about gender, among other demographic questions. In some cases, knowing the gender of your respondents can help you interpret their answers to other survey questions. For instance, you may want to know whether individuals who identify as one gender were more or less satisfied with a group activity you led at a workshop, or if they're more or less inclined to perform certain editing activities. In other cases, it may be unnecessary to know their gender.
If you decide to include questions about gender, consider phrasing the questions in ways that don't force respondents to choose a gender category or declare a gender identity they're not comfortable with. As a minimum, allow participants to opt out of identifying as male or female. You can do this by making gender-related questions optional in your survey, or by providing respondents with additional options, such as "Other (please specify)", "Neither male nor female", or "I'd rather not say."
- If the goal of your survey is to understand gendered experiences or opinions, consider asking separate questions about physiological gender and gender identity.
- Because gender identity is a spectrum rather than a set of discrete and mutually exclusive categories, always give participants an option to skip the question or describe their gender identity in their own words.
When to use
- Editor trends surveys
- Gender gap surveys
- Post-event feedback surveys
- Wikimedia Survey best practices (Gender identity)
- Gender issues in surveys (ihsn.org)
- How many people are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender? (UCLA Williams Institute)
- Human Rights Campaign, "Collecting Transgender-inclusive data in household and other surveys": http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/collecting-transgender-inclusive-gender-data-in-workplace-and-other-surveys
- Amy Feder "Gender Continuums: Considerations when collecting gender data": http://www.campuslabs.com/2012/02/gender-continuums-considerations-when-collecting-gender-data/