Submission to the ABS on sex and gender classifications

ABS census review iconIHRA has made a submission to the Australian Bureau of Statistics on the sex and gender standards in relation to the 2021 Census, and on collecting information on people with intersex variations.

The submission cites the Darlington Statement, and recognises the diversity of the intersex population.


We recommend that the ABS recognise that it already collects data on gender (on personal identification) rather than sex. The ABS should implement the gender standard in place of the sex standard.

Ideally, a gender standard would provide the specified range of choices in a non-hierarchical (and perhaps random, if online) manner, and permit respondents to add additional information on their identity.

We recommend that the ABS ask respondents a separate question on whether or not they were born with an intersex variation.

More information

The ABS Review of 2021 Census topics

IHRA 2018 submission to the ABS (PDF format)

Our 2015 submission on then proposed sex and gender identity standards