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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sex Survey: 'What Is Your Sex?' No Simple Question For Kaiser

Posted By on Thu, Mar 24, 2011 at 3:14 PM

We're thinking, we're thinking...
  • We're thinking, we're thinking...

For years, the biggest development in querying people's sex was changing the forms to read "What is your sex?" instead of "sex" -- to keep respondents from filling out "Yes."

It seems, however, there is once again latitude in this often straightforward question. An e-mail recently sent to participants in Kaiser Permanente health plans includes a link to a survey to "confirm [participants '] gender and date of birth, and to identify their race/ethnicity and level of education."

We don't know how broad the questions were about birthdays or ethnicity, but it's hard to imagine a more inclusive approach to sex.

Rather than check the box next to M or F per the usual, Kaiser users are asked if they're transgendered -- both female-to-male or male-to-female -- or "other." We're assuming the "other" encompasses intersex folks. Barring facetiousness, some uniquely intriguing tales must be hinted at by those who fill in that blank.

We reached a Kaiser spokesman and asked about the thought process behind this five-answer "What is your sex?" survey. We have not yet heard back from him, but, when we do, we'll:

A. Update this story;

B. Learn something interesting;

C. Other

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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