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NOTE: This is long but shows how conflating sex with gender has implications for the public health.

In the U.S., the CDC has set up the Vaccine Administration Management System to register people for COVID vaccine appointments. The process includes an online survey which can be viewed in this VAMS User Guide

Registrants have the option specify their "Gender" as:

"Female", "Male", "Decline to Specify", or "Other".

It also asks registrants to respond Yes or No to the following statements:

"I am currently pregnant."

"I am currently a nursing mother."

"I am currently living in a nursing home."

The User Guide notes that those first two questions "do not appear if you select male as your gender."

Issues:

It's reasonable for the government to want to collect data to determine if there are sex based differences in vaccine participation and outcomes. It's also possibly reasonable to want to know if applicants are pregnant or breastfeeding due to possible risks to babies, fetuses or maternal health, which might impact eligibility or informed consent.

But using the word "gender" when they really mean "sex" creates unnecessary ambiguity that could muck up the data and result in actual harm.

The fact that "Other" is an answer option adds to the ambiguity. It seems like an invitation to answer according to gender identity as opposed to sex.

The questions about pregnancy and nursing do not appear if "Male" is the selected Gender, so it seems the questions only appear for "Females" and "Others".

That is problematic because it erases the meaning of Female as the sex class of humans that can become pregnant and breastfeed.

On the other hand, the survey dissociates the word "Mother" from being "Male", so there's that! (However, it does appear to leave the "Mother" door open to those with "Other" "genders" or to those who decline to answer the "Gender" question).

TIF's who answered "Male" based on the initial "Gender" question will not even be asked about their pregnancy and breastfeeding status. This is problematic because important information about vaccine risks or eligibility won't get to the people who need to know.

Finally, I just thought it was funny the way the word "Nursing" appears in two questions in a row. If you answer Yes to the first question (yes I am currently nursing), then you should also answer Yes to the second question because the home you are currently living in is, in fact, a nursing home!

*NOTE: This is long but shows how conflating sex with gender has implications for the public health.* In the U.S., the CDC has set up the Vaccine Administration Management System to register people for COVID vaccine appointments. The process includes an online survey which can be viewed in this [VAMS User Guide](https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/reporting/downloads/VAMS-User-Manual-Recipient.pdf) Registrants have the option specify their "*Gender*" as: "*Female*", "*Male*", "*Decline to Specify*", or "*Other*". It also asks registrants to respond Yes or No to the following statements: "*I am currently pregnant.*" "*I am currently a nursing mother.*" "*I am currently living in a nursing home.*" The User Guide notes that those first two questions "*do not appear if you select male as your gender*." Issues: It's reasonable for the government to want to collect data to determine if there are sex based differences in vaccine participation and outcomes. It's also possibly reasonable to want to know if applicants are pregnant or breastfeeding due to possible risks to babies, fetuses or maternal health, which might impact eligibility or informed consent. But using the word "gender" when they really mean "sex" creates unnecessary ambiguity that could muck up the data and result in actual harm. The fact that "Other" is an answer option adds to the ambiguity. It seems like an invitation to answer according to gender identity as opposed to sex. The questions about pregnancy and nursing do not appear if "Male" is the selected Gender, so it seems the questions only appear for "Females" and "Others". That is problematic because it erases the meaning of Female as the sex class of humans that can become pregnant and breastfeed. On the other hand, the survey dissociates the word "Mother" from being "Male", so there's that! (However, it does appear to leave the "Mother" door open to those with "Other" "genders" or to those who decline to answer the "Gender" question). TIF's who answered "Male" based on the initial "Gender" question will not even be asked about their pregnancy and breastfeeding status. This is problematic because important information about vaccine risks or eligibility won't get to the people who need to know. Finally, I just thought it was funny the way the word "Nursing" appears in two questions in a row. If you answer Yes to the first question (yes I am currently nursing), then you should also answer Yes to the second question because the home you are currently living in is, in fact, a *nursing home*!

15 comments

[–] TheRoyalJesterf 15 points (+15|-0) Edited

This is funny and disturbing. The question should have been "sex," not "gender," which is in no way relevant. At the very least, there should have been questions for both sex AND gender (if, for whatever reason, they wanted data on that).

However, I'm not sure what you mean by the last paragraph. In the US, a "nursing home" is a live-in care facility for the elderly and has nothing to do with breastfeeding.

[–] xyzpdq [OP] 12 points (+12|-0)

The last comment was just my poor attempt at humor. It struck me as funny that the word "nursing" appeared in successive sentences, with two completely different intended meanings. Also, I suppose the word "nursing" as a word for breastfeeding or lactating has always struck me as a bit strange, but the breastfeeding meaning is apparently a much older use than its alternate meaning referring to health care professionals.

[–] TheRoyalJesterf 8 points (+8|-0)

OH lol, sorry, that kind of humor is hard to recognize in text communication. :) I agree, it is pretty funny they'd have those questions one after the other, especially since using the word "nursing" for both is unnecessary. They each have other terms that could have been used instead. Using them one after the other like this could cause confusion for non-native English speakers.

[–] zuubat 3 points (+3|-0)

It was funny. Also a not-so-funny reminder of What kinda illiterates are churning out this nonsense? Did they really ask if a woman was nursing, rather than breastfeeding? Sheez, I can only imagine the professional RN's out there who may be a bit iffy learning ESL, wondering how they should answer.

One innocent reason for the mess we are in may stem from the same source. Our puritanism regarding the word "sex" started the ball rolling on using "gender" in its place. Then the wokaversities decided they can no longer have Women's Studies, it's gotta be "Gender Studies." They should properly call it "Sex Studies" and watch enrollment skyrocket!

[–] blahblahgcer 12 points (+12|-0)

I recently went to a medical center that asked for "sex at birth", presumably to get around this.

[–] xyzpdq [OP] 8 points (+8|-0)

That's at least an attempt to get at the underlying facts that matter for health care.

Sex at birth is the same as sex at death, regardless of hormonal or surgical interventions you've had along the journey, what clothes and cosmetics you wear, or how you "identify"!

The public health is compromised by the confusion and conflation of sex with gender identity.

[–] blahblahgcer 5 points (+5|-0)

Yeah, although now TRAs are claiming that they were always their new gender from birth, it just got "noticed wrong" or whatever. So that might not even work...

[–] NotCis 6 points (+6|-0)

This is not only ridiculous, but will be harmful to women. They will actually get worse care if they do not have the opportunity to answer questions about whether they are pregnant or breastfeeding.

[–] goldenheartcc 5 points (+5|-0)

I ALWAYS see "gender" and then the options are followed by sex. It's infuriating and so stupid I groan when I see it esp if it's for medical forms and I can't not pick anything

[–] BellHooks 4 points (+4|-0)

Governments and institutions where sex data is needed are going to learn the hard way. They are still in denial .

[–] Srfthrowaway 3 points (+3|-0) Edited

They need the info on pregnancy and breastfeeding because as usual, there have been no trials including those women. That seems like a good attempt at capturing data on safety and efficacy in those women.

However. It's completely undermined by the stupid antiscience gender bullshit. Men will click anything but male and might even lie about pregnancy or breastfeeding. Women who are delusional click male and nobody knows if a pregnancy or infant is involved.

Not to mention men and women react differently to viruses and vaccines. Our immune systems are not identical.

This is a complete and total waste of your (USian) tax dollars.

Edit: I lol'd for real at your nursing home pun. Startled the cat!

[–] xyzpdq [OP] 3 points (+3|-0) Edited

That seems like a good attempt at capturing data on safety and efficacy in those women.However. It's completely undermined by the stupid antiscience gender bullshit

Yes, not to mention that it causes the process to be unnecessarily cumbersome and confusing. Why not just ask every registrant if they are pregnant or breastfeeding, since the answer apparently affects eligibility for the vaccine? And since they are actually after data on male and female participation and outcomes and have made it optional to respond, why not ask only about sex and provide only male and female answer options?

As for people who lie or delude themselves, there will never be a good way around that, except that the current climate actually encourages and celebrates the lies and delusions.

I lol'd for real at your nursing home pun. Startled the cat!

Welcome to the nerd club ; )

[–] HellaDea 3 points (+3|-0)

Well when babies start dying. They can get sued. Until then they won't care. Since all they care about is money