So, I alluded to it in my last post.
The Third Gender.
Does anyone else think that thatmeans the aliens have landed?
According to an article I read in the paper a few days ago, in the 2011 census, the third gender are going to be acknowledged for the first time. People will be able to identify themselves as 'Third Gender'. There will be a 'Male' box, a 'Female' box and a 'Third Gender' box. This is a landslide, a victory in many ways.
According to a random fact Rory threw out earlier today, 15% of Nepali's classify as Third Gender. To me, this is a surprising high number, but perhaps I am getting ahead of myself. What is Third Gender.
From what I understand, Third Gender is a umbrella term to describe "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex" people. In my brief search I found that 2% of men and 1% of women in Australia identify as homosexual, I have no idea about the others. But at any rate this 15% number intrigues me.
The articles I have read suggest that the Nepali Supreme Court's decision to that the government repeal all discriminatory legislation against the Third Gender is a milestone for the community. I respect that. People have suggested, that even allowing people to identify as Third Gender in the census can help health policy as homosexuals are more at risk from HIV/AIDS etc.
I accept the value to human rights and anti-discrimination. But speaking as a data manager, (currently) a researcher and my general opinion, you can't just lump sexual preference in there with gender. They are two entirely seperate things. I think at the last hospital I worked at there were 5 options fo selecting gender and ZERO for selecting seual preference. Perhaps collection of that type of information would be incredibly useful. The privacy and sensibility of such a move would have to be debated and I have no intention of doing that here.
But as a data manager, the idea that 15% (if that is indeed an accurate number) of people will no longer be listed as male or female in the 2011 census is horrifying. I mean, what the hell will that do to the statistics, TO THE ANALYSIS???? ARGH! It blows my mind. OK, so you get a win in being abe to target health policies towards homosexual PEOPLE (not specifically men) or ttrans-gender or intersex, but you lose the ability to target health policies at do that same thing specifically at both women and men that have also ticked that box. Just because somebody has ticked the box to Third Gender because they are gay doesn't mean that they have changed body parts (they still have genitals). Women are one of the most underserved groups in Nepal (like most of the developing world) if the census (that a great many statistics are based on) don't accurately represent their number in any given population, they how good can any health policy or research be?
Yay to the Third Gender, but perhaps, a more practical implementation of it's meteoric rise?