Best Practices for Asking Questions to Identify Transgender and Other Gender Minority Respondents on Population-Based Surveys

By Gender Identity in U.S. Surveillance (GenIUSS) Group
September 2014

GenIUSS-bubbleMost federally-supported population-based surveys do not include measures to identify transgender and other gender minority respondents. This report assesses current practices in sex and gender-related population research and offers strategies for establishing consistent, scientifically rigorous procedures for gathering information relevant to the needs and experiences of transgender people and other gender minorities. The report recommends various promising measures and measurement approaches for identifying respondents as gender minorities in general population surveys.  Among the most effective is the “two step” approach, which includes measures of self-reported assigned sex at birth (the sex recorded on one’s original birth certificate) and gender identity at the time of the survey. When collecting data to identify transgender and other gender minority respondents, special considerations must be taken into account based on age, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and intersex status.

Click here for the full report.

Click here for the press release.

The GenIUSS Group:

• S. Bryn Austin, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health; Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital
• M.V. Lee Badgett, Center for Public Policy & Administration, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law*
• Kellan E. Baker, Center for American Progress*
• Kylar Broadus, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force+
• David H. Chae, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Maryland, School of Public Health
• Kerith Conron, The Fenway Institute; Department of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston; Heller School of Social Policy, Brandeis University*^
• Paisley Currah, Department of Political Science, Brooklyn College, CUNY+
• Masen Davis, Transgender Law Center
• Gary J. Gates, Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law*^
• Alison Gill, Human Rights Campaign*
• Emily Greytak, GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network)*
• Jody L. Herman, Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law*^~
• JoAnne Keatley, Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, University of California, San Francisco
• Mara Keisling, National Center for Transgender Equality
• Shane R. Landrum, Department of History, Florida International University
• Emilia Lombardi, Department of Public Health, School of Health Sciences, Baldwin Wallace University*
• Phoenix Alicia Matthews, College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago*
• Sari Reisner, The Fenway Institute; Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health*
• Diego M. Sanchez, PFLAG National
• Kristen Schilt, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago+
• Gunner Scott, Pride Foundation
• Scout, LGBT HealthLink*^
• Ben Singer, Women’s Studies Department, Kansas State University
• Susan Stryker, Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Arizona
• Bali White, MA

* Report Author
^ Members of the GenIUSS Group Steering Committee
+ Report Reviewer
~ Report Editor