Center for American Progress

RELEASE: 190 Organizations Praise NASEM Groundbreaking Report on Data Collection To Measure Sex, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity
Press Release

RELEASE: 190 Organizations Praise NASEM Groundbreaking Report on Data Collection To Measure Sex, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity

Washington, D.C. — Today, an ad hoc panel of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) issued a groundbreaking consensus report focused on advancing data collection on sexual orientation, gender identity (SOGI), and sex, including variations in sex characteristics. The report synthesizes existing research; offers guiding principles for including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTQI+) people in data collection efforts; provides detailed recommendations for how to ask questions on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity; and highlights areas for future research. The report emphasizes that expanding, improving, and standardizing data collection is crucial to better understand and address challenges that LGBTQI+ communities face across key areas of life. In response, 190 organizations have co-signed an open letter praising the report and urging policymakers to routinely collect, analyze, and report these data.

“The NASEM report clearly summarizes what researchers, advocates, and community organizations have long known: Policymakers urgently need to expand and enhance data collection that allows for the identification of LGBTQI+ communities,” said Sharita Gruberg, vice president of the LGBTQI+ Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress. “Quality data provide us with a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of the disparities and challenges that LGBTQI+ people face. Gallup predicts more than 1 in 10 adults in the United States will soon identify as LGBT, while other estimates suggest there are as many as 2 million to 5 million Americans born with intersex traits. Without collecting data on sexual orientation, gender identity, and intersex traits, the needs of a large share of the U.S. population will remain obscured. These data bring visibility to the experiences of our communities and are essential to developing evidence-based policy interventions to reduce disparities, improve outcomes, and advance equity. Now, it’s time for the Biden administration to immediately begin to adopt a whole-of-government approach to implementing the report’s recommendations.”

Importantly, the report also emphasizes the need for continued investments in research and development in order to continue to improve and refine measures. It is vital that Congress and the federal government invest funding to continue developing, testing, and implementing measures that accurately identity LGBTQI+ communities.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Tricia Woodcome at twoodcome@americanprogress.org.