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Facebook's 71 gender options come to UK users
Following its successful integration in the US, US Facebook users can choose from one of 50 gender options
▲Social media use does not have a negative effect on GCSE grade, the study found Photo: ALAMY
By Rhiannon Williams 2:41PM BST 27 Jun 2014
UK Facebook users can now choose from one of 71 gender options, including asexual, polygender and two-spirit person, following the feature's successful integration in the US.
Users can choose a different gender option from the previous male and female choices by selecting 'custom' in the gender tab of their profiles.
In addition, people who select a custom gender will now have the ability to choose the pronoun they’d like to be referred to publicly — male (he/his), female (she/her) or neutral (they/their).
▲Selecting 'Custom' allows users to enter the gender term they'd prefer to be known as
Facebook worked with UK groups Press for Change and Gendered Intelligence to add 21 new options to ensure the list best reflected the ways UK users may choose to describe themselves.
"Gender identities are complex and for many people, describing themselves as just a man or just a woman has always been inadequate," said Professor Stephen Whittle, vice-president at Press for Change. The European Court of Human Rights has upheld the right to develop our gender identity, as key to our personal autonomy.
"By challenging the gender binary, Facebook will finally allow thousands of people to describe themselves as they are now and it will allow future generation of kids to become truly comfortable in their own skins."
Ensuring users feel comfortable being their true selves while using the network is a priority, said Simon Milner, Policy Director, UK Middle East & Africa at Facebook.
"An important part of this is the expression of gender especially when it extends beyond the definitions of just ‘male’ or ‘female.’ Today’s announcement provides significantly more options for people in the UK," he added.
Other websites have already implemented similar policies as transgender issues became more widely considered. Google+, for instance, allows users to choose from "male", "female" or "other". The company says that around one per cent of people identify as "other".
Currently Facebook targets adverts to users based on their gender. If a users chooses an option other than male or female then adverts will be selected based on the pronoun they choose to be mentioned with.
The 21 new options for UK users
Female to male trans man
Female to male transgender man
Female to male transsexual man
Male to female trans woman
Male to female transgender woman
Male to female transsexual woman
The list of the 50 previous gender options
Female to Male
Male to Female