Toward making sexual and gender diverse populations count in Australia
Background Comprehensive data on gender and sexual identity is critical for the planning and delivery of health, education, and social support services. This paper examines ways in which sexual and gender diverse populations are being counted in research, with a view to informing discussions about how to represent these populations in future research.
Aims To examine approaches used for the collection of data from sexual and gender diverse populations in Australia.
Data and methods We reviewed nine examples of large national surveys conducted in Australia over the past ten years and compared the approaches used for collecting data on gender and sexual identity.
Results A diversity of approaches and a range of limitations were identified in how these diverse populations are counted. The proportions of survey respondents across sex, gender and sexual identity categories, and the types of categories, were also found to vary across studies.
Conclusions There is currently no consistent approach for collecting data involving sexual and gender diverse populations in Australia despite the need for large-scale surveys that reflect sexual and gender diversity. This paper identifies conceptual and methodological questions for consideration when planning how to capture diversity related to gender and sexual identity.