Turns out that there is an ISO standard for sex. Man is 1 and woman is 2. But why man precedes woman? The standard explicitly states that no significance is to be placed on the fact that male is encoded as 1 and female as 2. The encoding merely reflects existing practice in the countries that initiated this standard.

More information at ISO.

International standard ISO 5218 defines a representation of human sexes through a language-neutral single-digit code. It can be used in information systems such as database applications. (Source: Wikipedia)

The four codes specified in ISO 5218 are:

  • 0 = not known,
  • 1 = male,
  • 2 = female,
  • 9 = not applicable.
comments powered by Disqus