Conflating or confusing sex and gender has serious implications for the accurate collection of data. Accurate data that is disaggregated according to biological sex is vitalOne of the most important tools for data collection is a national census, held every 5 years in Australia. The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently released its guidelines on the collection of data relating to sex, gender identity and sexual orientation. It makes the extraordinary staement that 'a person's sex can change over the course of their lifetime and may differ from their sex recorded at birth'.
In the UK, there was controversy over the issue of sex and gender leading up to the March 2021 census. The final version of the survey included two questions on this - Qu 3 asked for biological sex, allowing only Male or Female as the answer and Qu 27 asked whether gender identity matched the sex recorded at birth.