Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 47, Issue 8, pp 2397–2406 | Cite as

Man, Woman, “Other”: Factors Associated with Nonbinary Gender Identification

  • Stephen WhyteEmail author
  • Robert C. Brooks
  • Benno Torgler
Original Paper


Using a unique dataset of 7479 respondents to the online Australian Sex Survey (July–September 2016), we explored factors relevant for individuals who self-identify as one of the many possible nonbinary gender options (i.e., not man or woman). Our results identified significant sex differences in such factors; in particular, a positive association between female height, higher educational levels, and greater same-sex attraction (female–female) versus a negative effect of lower income levels and more offspring. With respect to sex similarities, older males and females, heterosexuals, those with lower educational levels, and those living outside capital cities were all more likely to identify as the historically dichotomous gender options. These factors associated with nonbinary gender identification were also more multifaceted for females than for males, although our interaction terms demonstrated that younger females (relative to younger males) and nonheterosexuals (relative to heterosexuals) were more likely to identify as nonbinary. These effects were reversed, however, in the older cohort. Because gender can have such significant lifetime impacts for both the individual and society as a whole, our findings strongly suggest the need for further research into factors that impact gender diversity.


Nonbinary gender Gender diversity Sex Gender identity 



The authors would like to thank James Templeman for all his assistance with this research project; without whom this study would not have been possible. We would also like to thank Ho Fai Chan, Sara Casey, and Yarrow Andrew for helpful comments and feedback. Stephen Whyte acknowledges funding support from an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship. The authors would also like to recognize and thank Lifeline for its valued role in supporting Australian human behavioral research. The authors declare no conflict of interest (material or financial) that relates to the research described in this article. All researches were conducted in accordance with the institution’s (Queensland University of Technology) Human Research Ethics Clearance (No. 1600000221).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Whyte
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert C. Brooks
    • 2
  • Benno Torgler
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Economics and FinanceQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Evolution and Ecology Research Centre, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Center for Research in Economics, Management, and the ArtsZurichSwitzerland

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