We have an application that stores data regarding a user's gender. The end user does not see this data, only back-end developers.
Possible values for this grouping are as follows:
Female Male Other
I was recently showing my friend the project and she pointed out that other people who see this data might deem this sexist, as it doesn't include many identifiable gender types.
She also brought up the following concerns from a data point of view, that someone reviewing the back-end of this application might notice:
- People might think that the numeric values (0 for female, 1 for male) used to store this data in the database are referencing genitalia.
- In binary
on, meaning there is a possibility that female colleagues and / or programmers might deem this (even more) sexist.
- People might deem referring to them as 'Other' as outright rude and / or offensive.
I don't intend to offend anyone, regardless of their race, religion, gender or sexuality and I've realised that this could potentially offend those who see the way that we're grouping this data by gender, as it may not be inclusive of the gender type they identify with.
In summary, the question I'd like answered is the following: Is it appropriate to collect data regarding one's gender using only a select few gender types (Male and Female), and group the rest into an 'Other' category?
Please note that this was not designed intentionally to offend anyone, it was something we had not put that much thought into while we were designing the database.