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The 2021 Australian Census Will Randomly Assign Non-Binary People Male Or Female


The 2021 Australian Census Will Randomly Assign Non-Binary People Male Or Female

The 2021 Australian Census is being criticised for the way it is approaching gender.

There was outcry when sexuality and genders outside the male/female binary were left off the survey, however it's since been revealed what will happen when you try and input data.

The census will only ask you about your sex (aka your genitals) and won't give you the option to highlight your gender (which can be different to your sex).

While it does give you the option to select non-binary, it is under the section of sex and therefore could just be for intersex Australians.


There is a box that allows you to type in gender non-binary, however this apparently won't make much of a difference.

A former member of the ABS Standard on Sex, Gender, Variations of Sex Characteristics and Sexual Orientation Variables has explained what the Australian Bureau of Statistics is going to do with that information.

Teddy Cook told The Feed that it will just randomly assign people who select non-binary sex as either male or female.


It's not clear if that will be an automated system or if it will be a human looking through all the non-binary applications and assuming a gender based off a first name or other type of data.

Teddy told the SBS programme: "The Census has let us down. What this means is we're basically unable to assess and understand how many LGBTIQ people there are in Australia.

"It's not about being inclusive, it's the right thing to do in the most accurate way to get a sense of how many of us there are, and what we're experiencing."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

But the ABS said it has deliberately left gender options outside male and female off the census for a good reason.

A spokesperson told The Feed: "We found that while stakeholders did identify the value in collecting gender identity in the Census, there were some limitations in collecting this information, such as people's understanding of why the question is being asked and the sensitive nature of the topic."

In layman's terms, it's to avoid a gendered version of the religion question.

Many people thought it was hilarious when they put 'Jedi' down as their religion. However, all it did was skew the actual religious makeup of Australia.


The percentage of atheists versus agnostics versus whatever else has been inaccurate because people were having a laugh.

The same thing would have happened with gender because ignorant people would have listed themselves as an 'Apache helicopter' or something else ridiculous because they don't respect the difference between gender and sex.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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