A dozen new gender categories will wreak havoc on audience research firms since they soon wont be permitted to use the "binary" categories: male or female.
Audience researchers were still licking wounds caused by technological challenges and analytic viewer comprehension, when another brick started heading their way.
First, some definitions. The aforementioned technical challenges refers specifically to set-top box data; the speed at which data is delivered to TV outlets; Nielsen's Total Audience, which tracks any views, regardless of platform; and Nielsen's Advanced Audience Forecasting, which helps media owners and advertisers forecast linear TV viewing.
Analytics is the practical application of patterns and other information gathered from the analysis of data.
What will soon hit "them", however, is something called "gendering." For its 2020 census, the U.S. Census Bureau considered adding to the traditional "male" and "female" classifications (now called "binary" categories) a dozen new, non-binary terms to reflect androgyny and gender fluidity, such as, "transgender," "cisgender", "bigender," "trigender," "pangender," "agender," and "other-gendered."
After considerable consideration, the Bureau decided not to pursue the matter for fear of accidentally leaving some people out. Plus, explained the Bureau's press office, "At the Bureau, the sex question intends to capture a person's biological sex and not gender. Sex is based on the biological attributes of men and women, while gender is a social construction."
Up to now, age, "binary" gender, ethnicity, zip code, and occupation were used to determine tastes, interests, and viewing habits, and to these ends, stereotyping (or delineating recognizable social groups) was important in data-gathering.
Today, viewer classification (and thus the current viewership sampling) is becoming obsolete. According to the J. Walter Thompson marketing company, 56 percent of consumers 13-to-20 years old say that people they know use gender-neutral pronouns like "ze" instead of "he" or "she." To this so-called Gen Z-er, gender doesn't define a person. They feel that consumer behavior is now a function of personality, rather than gender.