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The Scottish government are proposing to add two questions regarding sexual orientation and gender to its 2021 census. However, experts are warning that questions about biological sex in the next census may risk undermining the reliability of the survey and set a difference precedent for equalities protection.
The census currently has two binary options, male and female. But proposals are being suggested to offer a 3rd option to the survey, where the individual can define themselves, using terminology they prefer. The government are currently testing this formula, in part to offer clarity, following online guidance for the 2011 census which said that trans people could select how they wished to be identified, irrespective of the details on their birth certificate. However, analysts have warned that moving to non-binary sex questions puts the reliability of the census data at risk.
For more information, you can read the Guardian article here