Help:Sex and Gender

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This is a new help page. Please see the announcement on G2G.

How should the Sex at Birth field and its options be used?


Sex at Birth

In April 2022, our "Gender" database field was renamed "Sex at Birth." This more precisely describes how it's used on WikiTree.

The selection options for Sex at Birth are:

  • [blank]
  • Male
  • Female

Below the Sex at Birth field you will see three data status options:

  • certain
  • uncertain
  • other/do not display

Usage Guidelines

Leave the field blank for anything other than male or female, or for extra privacy.

For when and why to select the certain or uncertain indicators, see Help:Uncertain.

The other/do not display option should be used if a person's sex changed during their lifetime or if an infant died without an identified sex. See more details on these two situations below.

The sex does not need to appear on a birth record in order for it be used. As a general rule, if a person was a biological mother they should be female and if they were a biological father they should be male. This is necessary for our Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA connections.

As with most style rules, members should attempt to adhere to the intended usage on ancestor profiles, but strict adherence is not as important on private profiles of modern people unless there is a controversy between close family members. A member has full discretion in choosing the Sex at Birth to use on their own account profile.

Infants who died without an identified sex

For infants who died without an identified sex, we recommend that the Sex at Birth field be left blank and "other/do not display" be selected. This way other members will see that the Sex at Birth is unknowable instead of unknown.

Transgender people

If a person's sex changed during their lifetime, we recommend selecting the person's Sex at Birth and "other/do not display."

This will mean:

  1. Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA connections will be correctly maintained. Otherwise, cousins' YDNA and mtDNA tests will not attach to the person and their children, and the person's own YDNA and mtDNA tests, if any, will not connect to paternal-line or maternal-line ancestors and cousins.
  2. Neutral gendered language and pronouns will be used, e.g.:
    • parent instead of father or mother,
    • child instead of son or daughter,
    • spouse instead of husband or wife,
    • sibling instead of brother or sister,
    • their instead of his or her, etc.
  3. A green background behind a person's name in various tree views and lists instead of pink or blue.

See this G2G discussion for information on the policy decision.

Field Pre-Selection and Data Validation

You may notice that the Sex at Birth field is pre-selected in certain circumstances. For example, when adding a mother or father, female or male will be pre-selected. This is only for convenience. You can change the selection at any time.

Similarly, some data validation suggestions on WikiTree and WikiTree+ will alert you to uncommon situations, such as a male mother or female father. These are not error messages. They are suggestions for things you might want to double check. They can be dismissed.

See also:

This page was last modified 10:36, 11 August 2022. This page has been accessed 5,697 times.