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This has to do with this question on conducting surveys and asking gender-related questions.

I am confused about two answers (one mine-user153812, and the other, later answer by jakebeal).

To clarify, this is not about votes, but rather what makes answers perceived differently, and how one can be more careful while answering questions about sensitive issues.

(1) My original answer was practically identical to the later answer by jakebeal, with the exception that I used a different word ('transgender' rather than 'other') for one option.

(2) This was down-voted, and the reasons were mentioned by some commentors. To address these, I edited the answer and included some citations to validate my stand. It continued to be downvoted and disputed.

(3) I accepted the answer as being unhelpful and was about to delete, when I saw a very similar answer by jakebeal, one that got a considerably positive response.

That set me wondering what could make the difference between two similar answers, and what lessons can be drawn while dealing with other sensitive issues in the future.

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(1) My original answer was practically identical to the later answer by jakebeal, with the exception that I used a different word ('transgender' rather than 'other') for one option.

That option is what makes all the difference between the two answers. Jakebeal's third option isn't simply "Other", but it's "Other (fill in blank) ________", that is, it allows those answering the survey to specify their gender of choice, whereas your answer doesn't give this possibility. You proposed a fixed option, which, as pointed out in the comments, is not even considered a valid one by many.

Note also that when people vote on an answer, they may not come back to read possible edits.

  • Ok that makes sense, thank you. – user153812 Jul 30 '18 at 4:03

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