UK Government Survey Asks Kids to Choose One of 23 Genders

By Blake Neff Published on February 2, 2016

A survey distributed by a British city to local students is raising eyebrows across the pond because it lets students choose from a whopping 23 different genders.

The survey, distributed to all schoolchildren aged 13–18 in the English city of Brighton and Hove, includes not only conventional gender options like “male” and “female” but more unusual ones like “tri-gender,” “demi-boy,” and “all genders.” The survey is the work of Children’s Commissioner for England, a government post created to advocate for the interests of children.

“We want to know how gender matters to young people: what does gender mean to them; how does it affect their lives; what do they want to change?” Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield told The Telegraph.

At least one educational figure agrees with Longfield. Ashley Harrold, the head teacher of one school, praised the survey as a way to improve children’s lives.

“For us, anything that prevents students feeling happy, from feeling confident in themselves and from feeling accepted by their peers is something we feel the curriculum should address,” Harrold told the Brighton Argus. “Raising students awareness of the wider spectrum of gender identity is important in building an inclusive and tolerant society.”

The full list available to students is as follows:

  • Male
  • Female
  • Girl
  • Boy
  • Tomboy
  • (Young) woman
  • (Young) man
  • Trans-girl
  • Trans-boy
  • Gender fluid
  • Agender
  • Androgynous
  • Bi-gender
  • Non-binary
  • Demi-boy
  • Demi-girl
  • Genderqueer
  • Gender non-conforming
  • Tri-gender
  • All genders
  • In the middle of boy and girl
  • Intersex
  • Not sure
  • Rather not say

In case this rather exhaustive list was insufficient, respondents also were given the chance to fill out an “Other” box. And they just might have reason to do so. While the list is long, it’s not even half the length of the 58 options provided by Facebook since 2014. Gender options available on Facebook but not the U.K. survey include “Neutrois,” “Two-Spirit” and “Gender variant.”

Besides asking about gender, the survey also solicits children’s opinions on a variety of other gender-related topics. For instance, students are asked whether they feel “safe” using sex-specific bathrooms and whether they’d prefer unisex ones.


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