190 Orgs Call for LGBTQI Data Collection as NASEM Releases Historic Report

Calling on Measuring Sex, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity

March 9, 2022

190 Organizations Call for LGBTQI Data Collection as National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Releases Historic Report on Measuring Sex, Sexual Orientation, & Gender Identity

Today, an ad hoc panel of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 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, provides detailed recommendations about how to ask these questions, outlines key principles for advancing inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTQI) people, and articulates areas for further research. The report emphasizes that improved and standardized data collection is vital for understanding the challenges LGBTQI people face. A fact sheet summarizing the impact of this report is available here.

“We know that bullying and harassment disproportionately impacts LGBTQ+ youth and need data disaggregated by sexual orientation, gender identity, and intersex status to fully understand the scope of the problem and identify solutions that promote safe, welcoming schools for all young people,” said Aaron Ridings, GLSEN Deputy Executive Director for Public Policy and Research.

In response to this groundbreaking report, 190 LGBTQI and allied organizations today released an open letter calling for renewed efforts to advance SOGI and intersex data inclusion on surveys, in administrative data, and in clinical settings. The letter can be accessed here.

Data collected by private research firms suggest that there are over 13 million LGBTQ people in the United States, and the population is growing notably. Scientific estimates suggest as many as 2-5 million Americans were born with intersex traits.

“Collecting more and better data on LGBTQ+ people in nationally representative surveys is essential for crafting education policies and programs that support all students and educators,” said Joseph Kosciw, Ph.D., GLSEN Research Institute Director. “The NASEM report focuses on adults, but is significant in that it highlights the need and the importance of collecting data on LGBTQ+ identities, including measures that are inclusive of people who are transgender, intersex, and Two-Spirit. Comprehensive and national LGBTQ+ inclusive data collection is essential to achieving equality for all, which has been a priority for GLSEN for more than two decades.”