The term “gender” is used in the CDM as a synonym for sex assigned at birth. This is confusing that the word gender was used and continues to be used, as gender is a social construct. Moreover, a more useful meaning is genetic sex, where by the value “intrasex” should also be valid. This proposal proposes a 4-phase change to migrate to “genetic sex”.
- In the 5.X series, sex_concept_id would be added, along with a Sex domain with values (male, female, intrasex).
- Applications could start using “Sex” for screens, making sure that Intrasex is a valid option besides Male and Female.
- In the 6.X series, gender_concept_id and related columns could be removed.
- Gender can then become an observation with possible values that more closely match social constructs.
This is a long-standing problem with the CDM. It’s time it gets addressed.
Update: Perhaps it may be better to just add a
sex column, keeping
gender column on the
person table as well. This would let those doing ETL do the best they can to populate data from relevant sources, and those doing queries to choose the attribute that best fits the analysis.