Gender (mis)measurement: Guidelines for respecting gender diversity in psychological research




Cameron, Jessica J.
Stinson, Danu Anthony

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Social anD Personality Psychology Compass


Empirical evidence affirms that gender is a nonbinary spectrum. Yet our review of recently published empirical articles reveals that demographic gender measurement in psychology still assumes that gender comprises just two categories: women and men. This common practice is problematic. It fails to represent psychologists' current understanding of gender, violates our ethical principles as scientists, and can result in gender misclassification. Psychologists' reliance on binary measures also conveys an exclusionary attitude that is contrary to recent ethical recommendations and contrary to the growing public concern about transgender rights. We extend five simple, no‐cost recommendations that begin to resolve these ethical and methodological problems: use and report, nonbinary gender measures; report the prevalence of nonbinary participants; clarify their inclusion and treatment in analysis; and use gender inclusive language. We also address common concerns expressed by researchers, including whether measuring “sex” resolves the issue and whether gender‐inclusive measures confuse or offend participants.




Cameron, J. J., & Stinson, D. A. (2019). Gender (mis)measurement: Guidelines for respecting gender diversity in psychological research. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 13(11), 1-14.