Put Both Sex and Gender


It really is not possible to change one's sex. However, one's relationship to sex stereotypes can be infinitely complex. Some of these gender identities can lead one to with to live more in line with sex stereotypes of the sex you are not. I don't have any problem with that. It's clear that it's time to put both sex and gender on one's identifying documents.

Sex is important; gender identity is important. But one is fixed, and the other is fluid. For purposes of moving socially in the world, gender identity may be important. But sex is never unimportant. It is important for medical and health reasons--more and more, doctors are understanding there are really important differences between male and female bodies. It is important for other reasons, too. When crimes are committed by those who are male, those crimes are not crimes of females. When females can be impregnated against their will by males, sex is paramount. When males compete against females in physical contests, sex matters. Both sex and gender identity matter for census purposes.

It probably does not come as a surprise that government is behind the times on all of this. Governments, used to sex as the only categorization, have simply substituted "gender identity" for "sex." But these two things are not substitutable. They are both important. Both pieces of information are needed to clarify what is actually happening in the world around us. When the UK says that sex crimes committed by women have risen 84% in one year, it is important to know that the UK is using gender and not sex. This increase, upon analysis by sex and not gender, suggests there is no increase in sex crimes committed by females.

Thus it was very disappointing to see that Utah jurists and legislators have dropped the ball on this issue: "A Utah Supreme Court decision Thursday in Salt Lake City makes clear that transgender people may amend birth certificates, driver’s licenses and other state records to match the sex with which they identify." Sex is not gender identity. While you should be able to add gender identity to these documents, one's biological sex is still an important piece of information for many state purposes.



















Sex matters. Adding gender identity is appropriate for government forms, but that should always be in addition to sex.