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    Tuesday, September 26, 2006

    Smart Readers, A Question

    I was reading this:

    The city's board of health is considering allowing transgendered New Yorkers to get new birth certificates.

    Under the proposal, the new certificate would only indicate a person's current sexual identity.


    And my question is:

    Is there a good reason for having one's sex on a birth certificate? I'm not saying there's not, but I just don't know.

    4 Comments:

    Blogger Omnipotent Poobah said...

    I don't know if they are good reasons, but here are a few:

    -- They use the information for census data and other types of data sorting. For example, how many females were born in a particular city.

    --It might be a tie-breaker if two people had similar names...in fact I know one family who had male and female kids with the same name.

    -- Just to be nosey.

    9:16 PM  
    Blogger Corinne said...

    - Ok. I'll put in a plug for demographers and economists everywhere. Gender and sex matter, and I want to be able to talk about how and why. To do this I need data points. I can never ever ever link a data point to a person, so please give me data.

    I, naturally, being the crazy queer that I am would prefer to have *complete* data with transfolk duly noted.

    Also, birth certificates aren't used for Census data, census questionairres are -- so fill them out. :)
    Love,
    Your Local* Crazy Economist

    *where local is defined as blogrolled

    10:08 PM  
    Anonymous Jenn said...

    I know demographics are supposed to be terribly helpful. Like, they're supposed to help the medical establishment deliver better health care... to those tragic white men who can't get their peckers up. I know demographics help the government figure out what "minority" groups really need, so they can withhold it until they get enough vote service. It helps teachers know which kids to attend to and which are destined to fall through the cracks anyway and aren't worth wasting time on. And don't forget how it helps businesses determine that yes, Virginia, only the needs of white male consumers matter.

    Without demographics, we'd have to go back to plain old KKK style bigotry. It's so much nicer to be able to couch it all in lots of scientific-sounding numbers (that we've manipulated to support our pre-existing POV).

    Bigotry is dead! Long live Bigotry!

    What does knowing someone's gender really tell the govt that it needs to know? I can't think of anything except whether the person deserves first-class treatment or second.

    11:34 AM  
    Blogger EL said...

    I wasn't questioning whether we should ask, for example, on the census. I think hospitals should be able to keep records of sex if they wish. But I guess I see the birth certificate thing as different. It goes with you the whole rest of your life, for one thing.

    8:07 PM  

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