Revised Member Gender Demographic Reporting to Go Into Effect in 2017
Revised Member Gender Demographic Reporting to Go Into Effect in 2017

July 2016

In May 2016 Highlights, AERA Executive Director Felice Levine announced that the Association was seeking additional input from members and other experts regarding the gender identification categories AERA uses to collect member demographic information. At that time there was an open call for information that yielded valuable and useful suggestions, but no consensus as to the optimal classification option for the Association to use in obtaining demographic information on gender.

AERA Council returned to the topic when it convened on June 24–25. After considerable discussion of options and approaches that would well serve the membership, Council decided on a fully open-ended field for gender identification with no other question added. Therefore, beginning with the 2017 AERA membership, the following demographic item will be used to collect gender information:

            Gender Identification:                  (Specify)

New members will be asked to respond to this item upon joining AERA. As part of the renewal process for the 2017 membership year (beginning October 1st), members will also be asked to update their gender identification.

“We are deeply appreciative of all of the expertise and wisdom provided by so many in this process,” emphasized Executive Director Levine. “The approach adopted by Council allows members on a voluntary basis to identify their gender. From these data, AERA can better serve its membership.”  

The changes implemented to the gender categories are part of a larger effort begun in 2013 to update and improve the data AERA collects about the demographic characteristics of its members. In addition to data on gender identity, AERA collects other member demographics such as race/ethnicity, degrees earned, year of degrees, and age in order to understand and describe the composition of our membership. All demographic questions remain voluntary.

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