Perspectives from Transgender and Gender Diverse People on How to Ask about Gender

Jae A. Puckett, Nina C. Brown, Terra Dunn, Brian Mustanski, Michael E. Newcomb

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Purpose: When inquiring about the gender of research participants, most studies use self-generated questions about gender or questions prepared by researchers that have been evaluated for comprehension by transgender and gender diverse (TGD) and cisgender individuals. However, many gaps still exist in this area, including identifying how TGD people would like to see their gender represented in questions about gender identity. To address this issue, we explored the perspectives of TGD people regarding the construction of questions about gender. Methods: In this online study of 695 TGD people (Mage = 25.52), participants provided written suggestions for how to ask about gender and these responses were analyzed thematically. Data were collected between fall 2015 and summer 2017. Results: Three broad categories of responses emerged: (1) specific identities to include in response options; (2) specific questions to ask about gender; and (3) qualifiers/nuanced considerations. Conclusion: Participants provided a variety of suggestions for how to ask about gender and future research is needed to explore the implementation of these suggestions. Recommendations are provided for options that researchers can explore for how to ask about gender. These findings highlight the ways that TGD people would like their gender to be asked about, which is necessary information to ensure that questions about gender reflect TGD people's identities accurately.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalLGBT Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • gender identity
  • gender minorities
  • survey design
  • transgender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Urology
  • Dermatology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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