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This report attempts to assemble and analyse useful sources to determine how many people identify outside of the gender binary in the United Kingdom. It is intended that all are included.
As is often the case with surveys and censuses, the presentation and wording of a question is extremely important factor in how people answer it see for example, the controversy over how the question of religion was presented in the UK Census.
As such, this post will attempt where possible to report on how the gender questions were asked rather than just how they were answered. It is recognised that some of the surveys presented have limited value due to poor methodology or due to applying to different populations. Flaws and limitations have been described when identified.
Some surveys are included to present missed opportunities, provide constructive criticism or to demonstrate wider community trends that may relate to the UK population. Reliable figures show that at least 0. Identities and experiences under the nonbinary umbrella are extremely diverse with many identifying with multiple labels.
Consultation with nonbinary, genderqueer and trans etc communities is recommended when designing surveys. If gender is asked in terms of frequency of feeling like a man, a women, both or neither then there is evidence that more than a third of everyone may experience gender in a way that defies binary categories. Despite this, some people did tick both boxes provided, leave both boxes empty or write something over the question on the form. This again found that 0. However, a non-response rate of 0.
Does this mean more people wrote in responses instead or that fewer people identify as both female and male? We have no way to tell. Part of its role is to monitor and advocate for the protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act It was important to have a standardised question or set of questions that had been used in major national surveys, in order to provide an existing baseline for future Equality Duty monitoring questions to be analysed against.
They reviewed, trialled and sought feedback on questions in order to ensure this. The set of questions that were ultimately selected are as follows:. Q1 At birth, were you described as…. Q2 Which of the following describes how you think of yourself?
Q3 Have you gone through any part of a process including thoughts or actions to change from the sex you were described as at birth to the gender you identify with, or do you intend to?
This could include changing your name, wearing different clothes, taking hormones or having gender reassignment surgery. Q4 Continuing to think about these examples, which of the following options best applies to you? I would instead recommend making it clear that questions are asking for identity and not for body configuration or legal status.
In , these questions were used in a major national self-completion survey, performed online. In total 10, responses were recorded for this research, after a drop-out rate of only 0.
Respondents were sampled so as to be representative of the UK population. This accounts for 0. These are varied and include: A breakdown of the other questions was provided allowing question 2 to be compared to questions 1 and 3 extracted from the full Annex B breakdown, with added totals:.
They may feel that there is no societal role for their gender, and so no way to express this that would be recognised by others. They may have a strong experience of having no gender or having a nonbinary gender, but no strong discomfort that would require this to be affirmed through transition.
They may also feel that their experience of gender outside the binary is something personal to them and not to be shared with others. As such, the EHRC research indicates that 1. However, the figure should likely be larger as many of the objections in the previous paragraph could also apply to some binary identified individuals. These are now the EHRC recommended monitoring questions for public authorities, so it is likely that they will continue to be used in major national surveys and applied to many smaller populations.
YouGov polls are often reported as notable in the news and are used to predict the results of upcoming elections or influence public policy. YouGov has a large membership and selects smaller samples from that membership to pose questions to. YouGov only appears to ask panel members for a binary gender and does not report on numbers of respondents who are neither men nor women. This asks users 3 questions per day and reports on the results. YouGov describes this app as:.
YouGov Daily is a smartphone app for a daily polling experiment. YouGov will use this panel to test ideas and get immediate feedback on polling and the YouGov experience. Once the user has answered, total sample size for the current question is given through the app. On checking again at midnight the total had reached 3, and the question continued to be open to responses. You are either a man or a woman. Unfortunately, this was an ambiguously worded question.
The real number may in fact be higher. Although official figures are limited, some trans organisations have performed research on the trans population in order to determine our needs and demographics, and have done so in a way that is inclusive of those within the trans community who do not fit within a binary model of gender.
It should also be noted that many gender clinic service users opt not to reveal their nonbinary identity in fear of being denied treatment. As such, there are no official figures of the numbers of nonbinary individuals known to trans gender healthcare professionals.
The ERHC figures above are the most official source of statistical information relating to nonbinary prevalence. UK Trans Info have now stopped asking about the genders of gender clinic service users as it is clear that clinics are not recording this information in a meaningful way.
This was a groundbreaking report at the time and produced valuable evidence for policymakers and service providers. This was sadly typical of the historical state of nonbinary inclusion in UK research where, even 5 years ago, a mention in a footnote or glossary was the best one might hope for. We have come a long way in a short time.
GIRES have greatly improved their nonbinary inclusion in recent years. They currently describe their aims with:. Does your gender identity match completely the sex you were registered at birth?
For approximately 3 months in mid, they carried out an online survey on mental health aimed at trans people in the UK and Ireland. This was announced in trans support groups, online forums and mailing lists and was also publicised using LGBT networks and professionals whose work might bring them in contact with trans people.
Ultimately, people responded to the survey; after excluding those who lived outside the UK or Ireland, were under 18 or had not given consent to take part in research, people remained as the sample used for reporting. This was an extremely important and study resulting in a valuable and often sobering report that contains far more than just the basic demographic information explored here.
Which of the following best describes you? Do you consider yourself to be within any of the following categories? The full breakdown is as follows:. Others are skeptical of the concept of gender or unsure of which they qualify for.
I encourage you to read the full set of 9 examples on pages 13 and 14 of the report. Note, while genderqueer is sometimes used as a synonym for nonbinary or as an umbrella term for any gender outside of the binary and there is a great deal of overlap, these terms do not map perfectly onto each other with some nonbinary people not considering themselves to be genderqueer and vice versa.
Between 1st November and 28th of February , Trans Media Watch asked self-identified transgender people based in the UK to complete an online survey on how they felt about representations of trans people in the media.
This question is quite poorly worded as it specifies an oddly limited set of specific identity labels. Out of the total sample, respondents answered the gender identity question. The report summarises this as:. The question allowed for multiple responses: As such 53 out of the transgender respondents held a gender identity that was in some way outside of or more complex than the binary options alone. This corresponds to As such, the demographics of this survey of UK transgender people found that Although it should be noted that the question was poorly worded and was greatly improved on by the later and larger Scottish Trans Alliance survey above.
The following surveys do not represent the UK population, or even subgroups within that population. The answers to this question split as follows: It could also describe binary gendered trans people who are in the process of transition or not able to present full time due to workplace discrimination or other such factors. Q3 garnered written responses to GNL, many of them creative and unique, such as twidget, birl, OtherWise, and transgenderist. The majority of these respondents wrote in genderqueer, or some variation thereof, such as pangender, third gender, or hybrid.
They were found overall to be younger, less likely to be white and more likely to have experienced violence and harassment. This set-up also erroneously assumed that anyone who did not indicate that they were transgender was represented perfectly by the sex that they were assigned at birth. Those who did not indicate that they were transgender were only asked their gender as assigned at birth. The results of these deeply flawed questions do not even allow us to determine how many people who answered yes to question A3 were men or women!
I find it hard to imagine that much or any time was taken to consult with trans people about how best to represent us. Headline results are as follows derived from the weighted counts on pages 33 and 34 of the report:.
This is higher than other surveys of trans populations, but may reflect that a European or LGBT-focused survey will have different results.
Alternatively, it may simply be because this survey was extremely flawed when handling gender. To conclude, this FRA research was deeply flawed and represents an extremely disappointing failure to design what could have been a groundbreaking survey in a way that was inclusive of gender minorities. It is recommended that an inclusive consultation process, such as that carried out by the EHRC , be completed before designing a survey such as this.
The Asexual Visibility and Education Network, AVEN , hosts one of the largest forum communities for asexual people those who do not experience sexual attraction and their supporters. The survey was online and self-selected and received a total of 14, responses, 10, of which were from respondents who were asexual, demisexual or grey-asexual. Its membership is also very skewed towards younger people, in part due to being primarily used by people who are newly exploring their asexual spectrum identity.
However, the results of this survey are notable as the AVEN membership contains an unusually high proportion of nonbinary members.