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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

Software Can Do Better than 'Male,' 'Female,' and 'Other'

Text code in PHP styled to look like it's on a monitor.

What it could look like in PHP to have a third gender.

Credit: MIT Technology Review

A society organized into only "male" and "female" makes transgender and nonbinary people feel excluded. And it is something that happens frequently, especially online. Take many online forms, which force people to choose how an organization should refer to them: "male," "female," or "other." Why something as dehumanizing as 'other'?

From a coding perspective, it would be quite simple to update the dropdown language. Providing additional options often requires just changing or adding a few lines of code.

From MIT Technology Review
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