There is much debate, often fraught, about the change to guidance notes on completing the sex question in the 2021 UK Census. On the one hand, there concerns about the implications of a shift to self-identified gender as sex for data reliability. On the other, sex, gender and sexuality and associated identity are nuanced and interdependent concepts if we are to capture lived realities. The disagreement ranges across conceptual, methodological and political realms. Reflecting this, we, the editors of International Journal of Social Research Methodology, do not all hold the same opinions on this knotty issue.
As a contribution to debate we are pleased to make a series of short article exchanges available to download for free. These pieces are written with passion by people with divergent views but who share a commitment to good social research and to social justice. We are grateful to them for their contributions.
Sally Hines – Counting the cost of difference: a reply to Sullivan
Alice Sullivan – Response to Fugard and Hines
Rosalind Edwards, Malcolm Williams and Brian Castellani