'Man', 'woman' and 'other': QUT research explores gender diversity

October 09, 2018

A growing number of people in Australia no longer see themselves as fitting into the traditional boxes of 'man' or 'woman', with more than 30 gender options available to choose from on some social media platforms and within government institutions.

Now, new research by QUT, based on the results of the Australian Sex Survey, has looked at the biological and sociological factors associated with non-binary gender identity recognition - and how that is different between the sexes.Dr Stephen Whyte, from QUT's Business School, said the most interesting finding of his research was how multi-faceted non-binary gender identification was for females, compared to males.

"Our study took a unique perspective in that it used individual's biology, that is, their sex, and then explored factors associated with non-binary identification, and how they differ for males and females," Dr Whyte said.

"This meant that we gathered information around sexual orientation, sexual behaviours, marital status and offspring, occupation and income demographics, residential location and physical characteristics.

"While gender can no doubt be a complex issue for males, our research showed just how many factors can influence a female's decision, including reproductive pressure, labour market inequality and disproportionate levels of education - even female height was a statistically-relevant factor, with taller females more likely to identify as non-binary.

"The study is a great example of how behavioural economics, evolutionary biology and psychology can all provide relevant insight into human decision making, as well as the societal influences and pressures that shape what we think gender is in modern society.

"Perhaps what wasn't so surprising, was the finding that older respondents were less likely to self-identify as non-binary. In fact, we found that the likelihood of identifying as a non-binary gender actually decreased for each year of age, once all other variables were held constant.

"But because gender can have such significant lifetime impacts for both the individual and society as a whole, the findings really do strongly suggest the need for more research, so we can look further at the factors that impact gender diversity."

Dr Whyte partnered with adultmatchmaker.com.au for the survey and analysed the responses of almost 7,500 gender diverse individuals aged from 18 to 85 years-of-age.

The results of his study have been published in Archives of Sexual Behaviour. It can be accessed at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10508-018-1307-3.
-end-
Media Contact

QUT Media: 3138 9449 or media@qut.edu.au
After hours: 0407 585 901

Queensland University of Technology

Related Evolutionary Biology Articles from Brightsurf:

The propagation of admixture-derived evolutionary potential
Adaptive radiation - the rapid evolution of many new species from a single ancestor - is a major focus in evolutionary biology.

Genome duplications as evolutionary adaptation strategy
Genome duplications play a major role in the development of forms and structures of plant organisms and their changes across long periods of evolution.

Evolutionary theory of economic decisions
When survival over generations is the end game, researchers say it makes sense to undervalue long shots that could be profitable and overestimate the likelihood of rare bad outcomes.

Evolutionary assimilation of foreign DNA in a new host
Bioengineers at the University of California San Diego used genetic engineering and laboratory evolution to test the functionality of DNA placed into a new species and study how it can mutate to become functional if given sufficient evolutionary time.

The evolutionary puzzle of the mammalian ear
How could the tiny parts of the ear adapt independently to the diverse functional and environmental regimes encountered in mammals?

Bees point to new evolutionary answers
Evolutionary biology aims to explain how new species arise and evolve to occupy myriad niches -- but it is not a singular or simplistic story.

New evolutionary insights into the early development of songbirds
An international team led by Alexander Suh at Uppsala University has sequenced a chromosome in zebra finches called the germline-restricted chromosome (GRC).

Quantitative biology opens trail to ecological exploration, evolutionary prediction
Back-to-back papers published in Nature uncover surprising new findings on bacterial chemotaxis -- the movement of bacterial cells in response to chemical stimuli -- one of the most studied areas of molecular biology.

Evolutionary discovery to rewrite textbooks
Scientists at The University of Queensland have upended biologists' century-old understanding of the evolutionary history of animals.

Godzilla is back and he's bigger than ever: The evolutionary biology of the monster
Godzilla first made his debut in 1954 as a 50-meter tall metaphor for indiscriminate destruction, particularly US hydrogen-bomb testing in the Marshall Islands, which, in the film, destroyed Godzilla's deep-sea ecosystem.

Read More: Evolutionary Biology News and Evolutionary Biology Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.