Collection: European Journal of Politics and Gender Most Read of 2021


Enjoy free access to the European Journal of Politics and Gender's top 5 most downloaded articles published in 2021. Access these articles for free until 31 July.

European Journal of Politics and Gender most read of 2021

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Demands for recognition of gender diversity and transgender people are growing. We tested non-binary sex and gender measures using nationally representative samples of US adults to assess feasibility for general population surveys. We find more support for a two-step categorical approach, with separate questions about natal sex and gender identity, than for a single question assessing transgender status as the latter was less reliable within our online surveys and over time. We also consider the challenge of determining measurement reliability for fluid characteristics and argue that using categorical and gradational gender measures in combination should become standard practice.

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The rationale for this study is that self-categorising rating scales are becoming increasingly popular in large-scale survey research moving beyond binary ways of measuring gender. We are referring here to the use of rating scales that are similar to graded scales capturing left–right or liberal–conservative political ideology, that is, scales that do not include predefinitions of the core concepts (femininity/masculinity, as compared to left/right or liberal/conservative). Yet, previous studies including such non-binary gender measures have paid little attention to potential effects of survey designs. Using an experimental set-up, we are able to show that sequencing of gender measurements influences the answers received. Men were especially affected by our treatments and rated themselves as significantly ‘less masculine’ when prompted to reason about the meaning of gender prior to self-categorisation on scales measuring degrees of femininity and masculinity. Moreover, self-categorising seems to trigger more biological understandings of gender than anticipated in theory.

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