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CLASSIFICATION AND CODING
TABLE 1. THE SEX AND GENDER STANDARD CLASSIFICATIONS AND CODE STRUCTURES
Although both classifications use identical category codes and labels, the definitions of each category are unique and align with the concepts of sex and gender. The use of identical labels for both classifications also aligns with the Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender, November 2015 (Attorney-General's Department).
While the majority of the population identifies both their sex and gender as either male or female and describe themselves as such, a small proportion of the population identify their sex and/or gender as other than male or female. The label 'Other' is used in this standard's classifications to describe the third categories of both sex and gender because a more descriptive term has not been widely agreed within the general community. The use of 'Other' is also consistent with best practice for developing statistical classifications that identify and accurately label categories that make up a significant proportion of an overall population (e.g. 'Male' and 'Female'), with the remaining categories of a population brought together to form a third category labelled 'Other'.
Terms such as 'indeterminate' and 'intersex' are variously used to describe the third category of sex, while terms such as 'gender diverse' is used to describe the third category of gender, and 'non-binary' and 'unspecified' are terms used to describe the third categories of both sex and gender. Classifications using such labels, including the terminology recommended in the Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender, November 2015 (i.e. Indeterminate/Intersex/Unspecified), align in general with the scope of the 'Other' categories in these standard classifications.
Further, this standard recommends the inclusion of a 'please specify' write-in facility for the 'Other' categories giving respondents the opportunity to describe their sex and/or gender in a way they are comfortable with.
While the population currently classified to the 'Other' category in either the sex or gender classification is small, some users of this standard may require a further breakdown of the 'Other' category, for example when undertaking an in depth social study. In such cases, researchers may add a second level to the classification to disaggregate the 'Other' categories. The glossary of this standard can be used to assist with the identification of appropriate subcategories and labels. If a user wants to undertake a complex study of sex and/or gender diversity, please contact the ABS for further advice.
The ABS will review the 'Other' labels, and may provide further guidance on appropriate 'Other' subcategories and labels, when this standard is next reviewed, if further information (e.g. cognitive testing, analysis of actual responses, updates to related standards and guidelines) is available to inform development.
The following supplementary code is used to code inadequately described responses and non-responses for both sex and gender:
0 - Not stated/Inadequately described
SCOPE OF VARIABLES
The variables 'sex' and 'gender' apply to all persons.
APPLICATION OF THE CLASSIFICATIONS TO OTHER VARIABLES
The 'sex' and 'gender' classifications are not applicable to other variables.
CODING PROCEDURES AND CODING INDEXES
Input Procedures (for both sex and gender)
Input coding and imputation procedures may be necessary when data is missing, unreported or unavailable.
The UN Handbook on Population and Housing Census Editing, Revision 1, (Sections 346-347) suggests that where individual sex data items are unavailable, "...values can be assigned alternately, starting with either one ['male' or 'female'], using the opposite sex for the second invalid entry and continuing in this fashion".
This process would also apply for the collection of gender statistics.
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