‘How would you describe your Gender Identity?’ replaces the question for Sex

The Scottish Household Survey no longer asks if the person is male/female, it now asks to describe your gender identity.

This change has no doubt laid the path for the upcoming changes to the Census Bill currently making its way through


If you don’t like the direction our country is going then write to your MSP or best yet, go and speak to them. This isn’t going to just magically stop with a few outraged tweets about it.

It’s up to each and every one of us to take action and let our objections be known!!

The whole point of the Household Survey is to understand the issues and performance across the country by being able to analyse across key demographic household characteristics such as deprivation, age, income, sex, rurality, ethnicity and other equalities.

This ties in with the Fairer Scotland Duty and the Public Sector Equality Duty which is based on the protected characteristics as stated in EqAct 2010. i.e. Sex Not Gender. In addition to this the public bodies must meet their obligations under the Human Rights Act ( HRA) …

… which makes it is unlawful for public bodies in Scotland to act incompatibly with the Convention rights. The important and relevant one here is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. …

How can this be monitored in Scotland if sex is no longer recorded? Why is the Scottish Government prioritising gender identity over biological sex? Who did they consult when they were deciding to make this momentous change and to deviate away from existing equality legislation?

It got changed from the binary male/female answer to include people who identify as non-binary, with the expectation that GRA review will be happening in soon enough.

Dropping the sex binary male/female was rejected by NRS and EHRC warned of the negative impact this would have on data collection.

Nor would it be able to provide any statistics at all regarding the people who have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment. So who have they changed the wording of the question for? Non-binary, which isn’t even a PC, thereby wiping out data collection for Sex and GR.

Has this really been done just to ‘get ahead of the legislation’? This survey consultation was circulated amongst stakeholders early 2017, many months before the GRA consultation even opened in Scotland.

And who exactly were the stakeholders who supported this change? Any ideas?

Oh the irony!! “it is in everyone’s interests to have more accurate demographic information with which to make policy decisions.”

When NRS suggested using male/female and EHRC asked why they use ‘gender’ and not ‘sex’, and why they use ‘man/woman’ and not ‘male/female’, the response was they use gender identity to differentiate between the social and the biological. So they do know there’s a difference!!

Translation – ” our priority in the Scottish Govt is gender equality (i.e. the social) rather than sex (i.e. the biological) and our stakeholders, the Trans Lobby groups, have told us that man/woman is the preferred terminology for gender identity & we’ve just to ignore ‘Sex’ ”

(This was originally tweeted on a thread using my Twitter Account @Scottish_Women on 25/10/18)

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