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Surveys: Why Certain Questions Matter

Importance of sex and gender-related questions on surveys

Surveys play a vital role in gathering valuable data that inform healthcare policies, research, and services. However, to make sure that these surveys are effective and inclusive, some of the questions that we ask may feel invasive or even unnecessary, especially questions about sex at birth and gender identity.
But, those questions are important and they do serve a purpose. Here we’ll talk about why including these questions in our surveys helps provide a more accurate picture that results in more comprehensive and better care for all.
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Identifying Health Trends

Sex at birth refers to the male or female biological characteristics you were born with. The answer to this question allows researchers to identify patterns and trends related to specific health conditions for that sex. By looking at trends across different sexes, experts can develop more specific strategies to prevent, diagnose, and manage health issues more effectively. It also helps them to identify areas where more research is needed to develop innovative solutions in addressing health disparities.

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Addressing Health Disparities

Gender identity refers to an individual’s experience of their gender, which could be the same or different from the sex they were born with. Health disparities often affect marginalized groups, including gender-diverse individuals. Without gender-specific data, it’s difficult to identify and address these disparities effectively. Collecting this information allows researchers to uncover patterns and disparities in healthcare access, quality, and outcomes.

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Personalized Care

Including both sex at birth and gender identity questions leads to more personalized healthcare. Understanding a person’s gender identity and experiences can help providers and other experts offer more culturally sensitive and appropriate care. This approach fosters trust and better communication between our communities and health professionals, ultimately leading to improved health outcomes.
Fostering Inclusivity and Diversity

Fostering Inclusivity and Diversity

Acknowledging and asking about both sex at birth and gender identity is a part of promoting inclusivity and recognizing the diversity of the population. It shows an understanding of the many different lived experiences upon which health experiences and needs are built.

Although questions about sex at birth and gender identity may feel like a violation of privacy or present a cause for concern, they are only being asked with the best of intentions. Thorough research often means asking and answering tough questions. However, what we can gain through the answers to these questions is in-depth research that serves the incredible purpose of bridging the gap between health professionals and patient communities and increasing the quality of care. 

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