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Sex and Sexuality - Version 7

By AMCAlmaron
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Sexuality/Gender Spectrum - V3 by AMCAlmaron...wait a minute, what happened to 4, 5 and 6? What is this, Final Fantasy? =p

Anyway, deliberately silly title aside, this is something I should have uploaded sooner; the latest iteration of my long-standing attempt to design a replacement for the "Gender" boxes that crop up on census forms and website applications and whatnot. If this is the first of my designs you've stumbled across...well, first of all, you can ignore the older ones, cause in retrospect they're all pretty clunky. But anyway, this idea came about after I spent several years working in a call centre with veeeery outdated software that was not made with LGBT customers in mind...from memory (I don't work there anymore, and around the time I left I THINK they were working on a replacement) there were only Male and Female options, and once one was selected, there was NO way to switch...so a transgender caller would have the wrong gender perpetually listed on their file, with the workaround being to leave a note on a subscreen advising that the caller was indeed transgender. To make things worse, fraud was a common issue, with some callers pretending to be their relatives in order to get access to their files, and so people were required to be vigilant and ask extra questions if the caller's voice didn't seem to match the details on file, and then afterwards add a note to that aforementioned subscreen indicating that this wouldn't be a problem in future. It was...a mess, in short, and so I began mulling over ways that it could be replaced with something that would work for everybody while also being simplistic enough that it wouldn't be too intimidating for companies that would need to overhaul their systems, and that in turn steadily grew into a system that could be used to simply represent sex and sexuality in general and help normalise it all...I mean, I should note that this chart is VERY utopian in design; as a society we're not all at a place yet where it would be safe for everybody to publish their sex and sexuality for all to see, but hopefully one day we'll be at a point where it's all so mundane that nobody will care, and writing this stuff down will be no more intrusive than indicating your eye colour. 

I'll go into more detail about the logic behind some of it further down, but before we do that, I should talk about the changes. In the last published version of this, there were three categories; Biological Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexuality, with the results in each category combining and generating the appropriate labels for a person (who could of course customise their results; it's not like this would be fixed if they looked over it and went "Hmm, no, that's not quite right"). Version/Draft 4 started out looking very similar to Version 3, just with two big changes brought about after feedback from a number of people I shared this with; I added boxes to cover Gender Fluidity (which the old chart wasn't great at distinguishing from being multigender) and Romanticism (something I'd initially just lumped in with Sexuality, but revised after overwhelming feedback), and I also replaced the chromosome section with "AFAB/Intersex/AMAB" options after realising it didn't account for things like Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome and it didn't logically fit with the design philosophy I'd adopted everywhere else of using broad terms and reserving specific details for another chart. Version/Draft 5 came about as a result of attempting to address one criticism I'd had that the chart was too complex...the picture was meant to be an embellished version of a hypothetical application form, but that design element had slowly become lost over the years. This was quickly followed by Version/Draft 6, where I took inspiration from income tax forms and adopted a similar design while also making lots of little changes here and there to make it easier to read, and then this evolved into Version 7 when I expanded the section on Romantic Identity from a single "Yes/No" question to...well, what you see now.

So, what next from here? Well, I desperately want some feedback on the labels I've used, because I'm not sure they're quite right yet (and a few were incredibly flawed...looking back over the older published versions, some of the titles were completely wrong). For quite some time now I've been using a system building off Magnus Hirschfeld's work and which focuses on what someone finds attractive rather than how the object of their attraction corresponds with them (after all, terms like heterosexual and homosexual quickly stop being useful when there are more than two possible gender identities out there), but as a result I couldn't find terms for every possible combination and had to invent a few...Anandrophile and Agynephile, for instance. So...yeah, if you notice that I've slipped somewhere, please let me know so I can amend it! 

Oh, and I should note this isn't designed to REPLACE a previous label that people have adopted; this is more just categorising everything and using labels to represent the groupings, with the original labels preserved for when you'd want to be more specific. 
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Comments7
anonymous's avatar
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Fire-Storm-Dragon's avatar

I find this extremely confusing and tbh I think that anyone calling and finding themselves asked questions about their gender, romanticism and sexuality they would both feel spied and very uncomfortable, probably resulting in stopping the call.

Even worse, if this was the new card any calling centre would need to use, in emergency calling centres they would loose precious time asking those questions.


This would be nice if it were in surveys and forms you have to file yourself, where only "biological sex" is mandatory and the rest optional to be filled down


Outside of it, imo it is completely useless and unnecessary

AMCAlmaron's avatar

Oh, that was just what gave me the idea for this system in the first place; these aren't the sort of questions you'd actually ask someone during a call...the only ones that would be useful in a call centre would be the first two (in order to explain why somebody's voice sounds different from what you'd expect), and even then the caller would potentially have given that information to you in an application beforehand, so it would pop up on the screen in the call centre and the person there would know they don't need to ask further questions.


Anyway, yes, it would be mainly for use in surveys in forms; first two supplanting the Sex/Gender box, and the latter two...well, not being useful for stuff outside of dating websites and certain forums, but included here anyway to show what such a form could look like. Plus, as noted, it's designed to be utopian...the type of form you'd get in a world where this sort of thing is so normalised that nobody cares about what somebody's sex or sexuality is.

Fire-Storm-Dragon's avatar

I see. Ok, sorry then. I understood it was an idea for calling centers' labels

AMCAlmaron's avatar

That's all good; I probably could have explained it a bit better. :)

But yeah, I intended for this to have waaaay more uses than just in a call centre...I mean, something like this could even be useful in schools as a sort of introduction to the complex world of sex and sexuality in general. It's not a conclusive listing of all the subcultures and identities, but it'll help you get your brain around the basic idea if you're new to it all (plus it represents everything on an equal footing, rather than going for the heteronormative approach, where there's the implication that everything that's not that is THE OTHER).

Keeper-of-Stars's avatar
This is kinda confusing
AMCAlmaron's avatar

Heh, all good; that's more or less what you said for the last draft. =p

Think of it like a questionnaire that helps you get an idea of just who you are...circle anything that feels right, and see where you end up. For instance, the A category is all about your gender identity; the first question asks what gender you were assigned at birth, then the next question asks what gender you identify as...so if you circled "Assigned Male At Birth" and "Feminine Identity", you'd be "Transgender Female"...and if you circled more options it'd get more complicated; perhaps you identify as more than one gender and fluctuate between the two? The chart allows for that as well...hopefully that helps clear it up a bit!

Keeper-of-Stars's avatar

It does help in a way

anonymous's avatar
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