So, I tried looking up synonyms for "sex," and it's a good laugh. But in all seriousness, I'm looking for a word to indicate a persons biological sex (as in chromosomes) which will not cause confusion.
The problem with the word sex is that it really reads like intercourse a lot more than chromosomes. It's also prone to creating distraction in the reader.
The problem with the word gender, is that it's kind of in a grey zone where it can (and historically was) used to mean sex, but now it's sort of confusing and touchy to many.
There are ways to use extra words to clearly get the idea across (ie "Biological Sex"). This is really wordy after a while.
Another thought was to use "M/F," but it reads pretty technical. (eg. "Her M/F was F"). Also, in the context of transexual people, the terms M2F and F2M are already in use... so I can see more confusion coming in there.
Is there any alternative word for [biological] "sex" other than "gender"?
My particular example is that I have a form with big bold words above each field. One of the fields is:
Gender: [ some input ]
I tried changing it to sex, and it becomes confusing and I don't like have the word "Sex" in big bold letters, standing alone on the page. It really does not read right.
Sex: [ some input ]
While the confusion from Sex is not okay to me, confusion from a new word is. New word confusion may pass, but context defined words are always going to be a hassle.
EDIT: I should also mention, beyond using it in the form, I'd like all of my code to be able to use the same wording. So while "Biological Sex" would work for just the form, it's not great for naming a column in a database and typing over an over again. For what it's worth, I'm currently using
sexes and singular
sexe in the code. It works, but
sexe is not a real word.
EDIT 2: Please attempt to imagine a scenario in which needing this word might exist. Not everybody will agree on what scenario would, but from my perspective, it would be really helpful to have a word.