Comments & Discussion

Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English. Statistics or facts must include a citation or a link to the citation.

There are 11 comments on POV: We Need to Eliminate Sex from the Public Portion of Birth Certificates

  1. since a lot of medical indication guidelines are sex dependent, how does one address this? for example, the guidelines for diagnosing anemia are sex dependent, where the threshold for anemia in g/dL of blood is different for adult males, adult non-pregnant females, and adult pregnant females. so if an adult identifies as male, but their sex at birth was female, how does this play into diagnosis of medical conditions where guidelines are sex dependent?

    1. A medical record is a legal document, and is not a public record. Therefore your doctor would know your sex assigned at birth, your weight, your gender identity, other medications you may be on etc. This would just remove sex from the public view.

  2. I don’t understand the confusion, if you have a Y chromosome then you are a male. For the rare intersex situation, that could be handled differently.

  3. This has been a controversial topic. Race was once public on birth certificates, and it was removed since it was not necessary. For the transgender and intersex communities, removing sex from birth certificates just makes life less complicated. Having a gender identity that does not match the sex designation on a birth certificate can create confusion and potentially expose people to discrimination when an identity document is requested, such as when they register at a school or university or apply for a passport. Birth certificates are also used to accumulate identity “points” for anything from applying for a credit card to commencing a job. However, many believe in sex is an important identifier for a person. If sex is removed from birth certificates, what else is left on there, name and date of birth? The primary purpose of a birth certificate is to provide verification of a person’s legal identity, and gender is different than sex.

  4. Removing sex designation at birth will lead to less discrimination and will increase gender equity. Yet, assigning sex at birth is essential for data analysis, collection, and future health-related matters. Thus, it is still essential to record a person’s sex designation at birth in one form or another. Thus, it is essential to keep using the U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth which is critically used for medical, public health, and statistical uses only. This way the government-issued certificate of live birth wouldn’t need to have sex designation at birth, as it’s not a piece of important information to the public.

  5. I think rather than removing sex from birth certificates, as this could lead to confusion with medical procedures and such, we should rephrase how gender is asked for official documents and jobs. I’m applying to jobs at the moment and every application I fill out has a different way of asking for gender. Some companies will ask what you identify as, with more than two answer choices, while others ask what’s on your birth certificate and give no option besides male and female. I think the first step is to hold companies accountable, especially since pretty much every company says they believe in diversity and inclusion. Beyond jobs, for government ID’s, school registration, etc. the same question- on how you identify- should be asked.

  6. I also believe we should remove sex from the public portion of birth certificates. We live in a progressive era, where being part of the LGBTQ+ isn’t as taboo as it was a couple years ago. This means people are going to be more comfortable “coming out”. Anyone can have an epiphany and realize their true identity later on in life, and having sex as a question on the public portion of the birth certificate may make one feel misgendered or mis-identified. Because there are many sex-specific diseases/disorders (men are more likely to be colorblind, or various types of cancers), I think having another document that says your birth state for professionals to see is a very good idea. As long as there is an official document that states what your birth sex is (and is only disclosed to professionals), I don’t see an issue with eliminating sex from birth certificates. Thank you for the article!

  7. I also agree we need to eliminate sex from the public portion of birth certificates. We live in a progressive era, where being part of the LGTBQ+ community isn’t as taboo as it was a couple years ago. Sex is assigned from the day we are born, but how are we supposed to know our identities when we haven’t even experienced life yet? It is very likely people are going to be more comfortable “coming out” and realizing their true identity. By already having a sex on an official document like the public birth certificate, it can make someone feel misgendered down the line. I believe that as long as there is another document that privately discloses your birth sex to officials/professionals (like doctors or to whomever it may concern), then removing sex from birth certificates seems like a great idea. Having a separate document that states your birth sex can be extremely useful to doctors since there are many gender-specific diseases/cancers/disorders, and it would be really harmful to be misdiagnosed regardless of what you identify as.

  8. Thank you for narrowing my choices of colleges for my children. Boston University is a ridiculous institution and not worth a penny of my money.

Post a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *