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Gathering Data on Gender Identity to Support the Health and Well Being of Oregon’s Youth

As part of their role in overseeing the statewide adolescent health survey (Oregon Healthy Teens [OHT] survey), PDES staff led efforts to gather more complete information about the gender identity of Oregon youth. The process began in 2016. Based on input from youth, PDES and the survey’s advisory committee began exploring the feasibility of including more expansive gender questions on the survey. They partnered with universities, community organizations, and members of the LGBTQ communities to select measures about gender identity and expression. That work led to a major change: in 2017, Oregon became one of the first states in the nation to adopt a comprehensive and inclusive measure of gender identity and expression in its youth survey to ensure that every youth has the opportunity to have their identities counted.

The expanded gender question in the 2017 OHT Survey included multiple options for those who identify as neither exclusively male nor female, including a place to write or type in their identity. Multiple responses were allowed to capture the fluidity and diverse nature of gender identities.

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Oregon Healthy Teens

For more information about the Oregon Healthy Teens Survey, email: