Gender Census 2018: Titles

Original Tumblr post

The survey took place between 1st February and 25th March 2018, and there were 11,241 respondents, of which 1,528 said they were living in the UK.

After the identity question, I asked, Supposing all title fields on forms were optional and write-your-own, what would you want yours to be in English? I also clarified that participants should be currently entitled to use it, so they should have a doctorate if they choose Dr, etc.

There were 5 specific titles to choose from, plus a few options like “I choose on the day” and “a non-gendered professional or academic title”. Participants could choose only one, with the goal of finding out what, when pressed, people enter on official records forms and ID. You can see the spreadsheet of all 11,000+ responses for this question, as well as the graphs in more detail, here on Google Sheets.

The top 5 were:

  • Mx (up 3.0%)
  • No title at all (up 1.6%)
  • Mr (up 3.5%)
  • Ms (up 2.9%)
  • Non-gendered prof/acad. (down 10.6%)

I think it’s interesting to note that Mx, no title, Mr and Ms went up by 11% between them – very close to the 10.6% dip for non-gendered professional/academic titles. Perhaps the revised wording for this question, specifying that participants should have earned or been born with their titles, helped to get more accurate responses here.

Mx and “no title” swapped places again this year, as they have done since the start of the survey, but they seem to be getting closer over time – this year, in over 11,000 participants, the difference between the two was only 25 people, or 0.2%. As always, they are far ahead of any other title, with the next two being Mr and Ms – both under 10% each.

“Professional/academic title” took a big dip, down 10%. I think this might be because the question now specifies that you should be currently entitled to use it. On the assumption that the lack of clarity in previous years means that the data is misleading, I have removed data from previous years for that title.

Of the 171 people (1.5%) who said that in an ideal world they prefer a gender-exclusive title, only 29 used the text box to specify what that title is. A lot of those text box entries were discussions of titles as a concept or varying preferences, but here are the top 5 specified gender-exclusive nonbinary titles:

  • Mx – 3
  • M – 3
  • Mv – 2
  • Mn – 2
  • Comrade – 2

So I’d say that we do not currently have a gender-exclusive nonbinary title yet…!

(By “gender-exclusive nonbinary title”, I mean a title that denotes a nonbinary gender, as generally speaking Ms denotes a female gender and Mr denotes a male gender.)

As a closing note, because graphs are great, here’s how the UK compares to the worldwide results:

(Handy note: the UK folks were 14% of respondents, and the UK results are included in the worldwide results.)

I feel that this question has settled into a happy state of being good enough to get the useful data. There are no write-in titles that went over 1%, there are no pre-written titles that got under 1%, and the revised wording means I’m now asking for exactly the information that I need to know. If I’m feeling creative next year I might ask people whether they consider the title they chose to be gender-inclusive (it represents any-or-no gender) or gender-exclusive (it represents a particular gender). But if I don’t make any changes that’d be perfectly okay.