Wikitree DNA test fields need to be brought up to date [closed]

+14 votes
Transgendered, post op, male to female tries to post YDNA data, but wiki does not permit the posting of said information, as only Males can post YDNA.


System needs to be modfiied to account for transgendered
asked in Policy and Style by Jennifer Farrar G2G6 Mach 1 (14.3k points)
closed by Chris Whitten
Just a thought. Have you tried to change the gender to male so that you can post your yDNA, then switch it back to the correct gender? I do not know if it will work.

4 Answers

+14 votes
Best answer
If a person born a male has an operation to change their gender to female then they will still have a Y chromosome and only one X chromosome.  If a person born a female has an operation to change their gender to male then they will still have two X chromosomes and no Y chromosome.
answered by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (428k points)
selected by James Collins

good article on Wikipedia

Quote: Transgender people are people who have a gender identity, or gender expression, that differs from their assigned sex.[4][5][6] Transgender people are sometimes called transsexual if they desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another.


+12 votes
DNA testing is based on science so I don't think this request can be reasonably accomodated. Can't you use the Biography section for this?
answered by Randy Erickson G2G3 (3.5k points)
Of course it can be accomodated, anything can be accomodated, it all depends on  one's attitude, will and/or prejudices.

A;ll that is needed is to change the parameters in the present field. Easy peasey.

Science does come before social requirements, but then again we are social animals, and we live our lives in the eyes of others, who without any forrethought, see us and categorize us as this or that (religion, race, gender, social class, desireable, undesirable, etc).


I do believe that this can be accomodated. If not then valuable information that should be recorded in wikitree, will not be recorded


Making comment in Bio field is  not the solution, the solution is to change the program, to accomodate something which is now a growing national phenomenon.

@Jennifier you must understand the difference between

WikiTree is already today a mess that its ok to add also not the biological parents for a person ==> that all the DNA functionality of WikiTree will be wrong.... see blogpost

Solution: Define more fields in WikiTree not use one field for everything someone think..... plus start define what you would like to achieve and why in writing User stories....

You pay a high price having a simplified data model that does not evolve as Wikitree has selected. Trying to map everything as Wikidata does then it fast get complex..... see link 

Responses like yours are vidence of a total lack of  understanding and respect.


Of course I understand  The difference between gender identity and "assigned sex" or rather  assigned gender, sex is more accurately a verb.

The world is changing and systems must change.


And they can change, anything created by the mind of "man" can be changed, accommodations can be, and are made, unless one is motivated by religious political ideology. And even then attitude adjustments are possible and frequent.

"Responses like yours are evidence of a total lack of understanding and respect."

Actually, Jennifer; no. It's your response that lacks respect because you didn't read Magnus's post carefully--his native language is Swedish--and follow the links he presented.

He was supporting your position that new data fields should be created to allow WikiTree additional flexibility. I have no dog in this particular hunt, but it seems to me that you insulted Magnus after misinterpreting his viewpoint without attempting to understand it, and then leaping to a conclusion based on your own personal bias. Sound at all familiar?

is not an insult and the gender stuff over at Wikidata is explosive....

I rephrase you need to understand software development and database modelling

  1. If you have one field used for doing DNA research then that field is assigned sex/gender/...
  2. You dont add gender identity to a field like that 
    1. if you do the data in the field can't be used for DNA genealogy etc....  
  3. solution create another field dedicated to what every you would like to describe or use the bio section....   

The following is used in Wikidata for gender identity so just supporting transgendered feels a little bit old fashioned and not travelling outside California's gender discussions..    ;-)



genderqueer catch-all category for gender identities other than man
and woman, thus outside of the gender binary and
cisnormativity (use with Property:P21 sex or gender)
transgender state of one's gender identity not matching one's
assigned sex
fakaleiti third gender in Tongan culture, male who behaves
and appears in an effeminate manner (see also Mahū)
hijra South Asian eunuchs taking on female roles, often considering
themselves transsexual/transgender
kathoey third gender in Thai culture, usually transgender woman or an
effeminate gay male
transgender female male assigned at birth or biological male who self-identifies as
female (use with Property:P21 sex or gender)
cisgender person who's self-perception of their gender matches their
biological sex.
fa'afafine third gender in Samoan culture
transgender male female assigned at birth or biological female who self-identifies
as male (use with Property:P21 sex or gender)
māhū third gender in traditional Hawaiian or Kanaka Maoli culture
gender neutrality  
female human who is female (use with Property:P21 sex or gender).
For groups of females use with ''subclass of (P279)''
male human who is male (use with Property:P21 sex or gender).
For groups of males use with ''subclass of (P279)''
cisgender male biological male who self-identifies as male
cisgender female biological female who self-identifies as female
travesti person who was assigned male at birth who has a feminine
gender identity
Genderfluid gender identity which doesn't conform to fixed
gender roles or varies over time, such as shifting between identifying as male and female

FYI I feel WIkitree is not the correct tool for mapping the whole world in its current form.

This weekend I was part of a Diversity conference by WIkimedia were this was discussed how to better work with Diversity....  and its not simple in a Wiki.....


A good mix of participants except for age. 80 people from 43 countries with at least 20 languages represented

+5 votes
It should be accommodated, but it has to be done in a way that is consistent first with genealogical needs.  This is after all a genealogical site, and both the biological specs and the life choices are important.  Take the example of a person who's biological father was an unknown sperm donor, who grows up with a loving father, and after that father dies, there's a step-father.  His life story should of course include the father he loved, and the father he lived with later, but also from a genealogical standpoint has to include the unknown donor, because that donor is the only father that matters biologically.  DNA support requires it.  Same with birth gender, DNA support requires knowing if there is a Y chromosome or not.

My suggestion is an expanded list of choices, something like this:
- Male
- Female
- Unknown
- Male, then female  -or-  Female (male at birth)
- Female, then male  -or-  Male (female at birth)

We *have* to have the birth gender, but the change in gender is also important.  The details of the change would go in the bio.

Lots of ways to express the last choices, like "Female (male at birth)" or "Male to female".  None of these require new data fields, just extra data handling.
answered by Rob Jacobson G2G6 Mach 7 (72.2k points)
edited by Rob Jacobson
TThis is the 21st century, not the 19th, tis time for change and accomodation.
+5 votes
Jennifer I think there are some tweaks that do need to be made to accommodate the new social conventions concerning marriage.  

Allowing same sex marriage designations are something that for WikiTree to be a reflection of the current world is a necessary change.  

When it comes to gender I think WikiTree needs to decide if they are using this term strictly from a DNA perspective which regardless of surgeries or identification, is based simply on chromosome reality.  

If the latter then someone with sexual change surgery would still be listed as the birth sex.  However, if the term is being used simply as a descriptor, then WikiTree would need to expand its choices to reflect modern usage.   My guess is that it was thinking in terms of DNA when the program was written and in terms of historical usage.  

Resistance to your viewpoint is not necessarily based on rejection of life style choices but probably based more on intended use of database fields for analysis and error checking.  For the greater part of human history same sex marriages were not allowed so when the program was set up, it would have reflected this historical view.  Modern changes include now two philosophies for data usage that may be somewhat at odds and this is the DNA based science view vs the social science view.  Both have a place in the world the question is really how best to use WikiTree for both views.   

Many work-arounds are handled in the bio section.  Adoptions are an example of this.  Adopted children will often adamantly take the stand that their adoptive family is their family and their biological family is their DNA family but one does not necessarily take precedence over the other.  As a person with adopted people in my family I can tell you I would be very upset if someone told me I could not list someone who is legally related to me but not biologically related to me.  I see the transgender situation to be a similar issue with the social convention being somewhat at odds in terms of database use with the biological side.  

For now, use the bio section to explain what you are doing.  You may need to select male for a female and then explain it but I think keeping male and female for DNA is important too.  To allow data checking for most of history, having the male female spousal set up makes sense but from 1970 when the first same sex marriage took place there should be an option to check a box that says same sex marriage and overrides the male female designation.  

Historically there were some other times and places that did allow same sex marriage but they were in the minority not the majority of the world or the time frame.  This wikipedia article might help with a timeline and locations:
answered by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (448k points)

For purposes of DNA tracking, transgender individuals do need to be coded with their gender at birth, but it's also necessary to respect their strong desire not to be publicly displayed with that gender.

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