The inclusion of transgender individuals in research is increasingly recognized as important for accurate data collection. However, knowing the best practice for differentiating between biological sex and social gender is not always clear when creating surveys or in other situations where these identifiers are necessary.
A study out of The University of Western Ontario found that “knowledge of the sociodemographic characteristics, health needs, and social experiences of trans populations has been constrained by the lack of measures to identify trans persons in population surveys”.
The study tested several different surveys which asked research participants to identify their sex and gender with multidimensional measures, and provides suggestions for how to incorporate such questions to collect more accurate data.
Their “Multidimensional Sex/Gender Measure (MSGM)” offers the following questions to determine a participant’s biological sex and gender identity :
Fig 4. Multidimensional Sex/Gender Measure (MSGM). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0178043.g004
To learn more about the study and MSGM, read the paper online here.