UK citizens may no longer be forced to tell the government which sex they identify as in future census counts, it has been revealed.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has proposed to make the question of sex a voluntary submission in an unprecedented move,. The move comes following allegations that prior counts were discriminatory against transgender and non-binary citizens.
In a report released without fanfare last month, the ONS said the existing question of "male" or "female" is no longer relevant to society.
It read: "The 2011 Sex question was considered to be [...] unacceptable and intrusive, particularly to trans participants, due to asking about sex rather than gender.
"The lack of response options for intersex and non-binary people could make it difficult to answer and cause feeling of having to make a forced choice."
The addition of an "other" box was also dismissed because it would cause "respondent uncertainty as to whether the question was actually about gender" and may work to "homogenise trans people and differentiate them from the rest of society."
If the plans were go ahead, it would make the UK one of the first countries in the world to not require such data from its citizens.
The report concluded: "We would tentatively recommend that an unchanged 2011 Census question should not be mandatory, for the benefit of, particularly, intersex and non-binary people who cannot choose male or female as a reflection of their current sex or gender."
The census count, which takes place once every decade, is next set for 2021. It remains a criminal offence to give false information during the national survey.
Opponents of the change argue that the change would leave the UK government with inaccurate data about the number of men and women in the country.
Writer Germaine Greer, told The Sunday Times that the proposals - if enacted as per the ONS paper - would mean biological women would be "losing out everywhere."
"I'm sick and tired of this," she told the newspaper. "We keep arguing that women have won everything they need to win. They haven't even won the right to exist."