Perhaps someone more involved with RDA can confirm this, but I seen to
have heard that gender was added for linguistic reasons -- e.g.
needing to say "him" or "her" at some point in the display (like a
gendered "author" label).
Quoting Saašha Metsärantala <[log in to unmask]>:
> The focus of the list is on authority records and my point is that
> if gender is to be included in authority records, it will require a
> great attention to handle this highly complex question. The fact
> that the question
>>> > > What gender is "George Eliot"?
> came on the list is an indication of the complexity of this issue.
>> "George Eliot" [...] was deliberately crafted
> Maybe I shouldn't have taken for granted that we all knew a little
> about George Eliot, but on the other hand, I don't consider that the
> person who wrote the question about George Eliot's gender made any
> mistake when assuming that we all had (or at least easily could
> find) some information about the question of George Eliot's gender.
> My point was and still is that gender is a very complex social
> construction and unsurprisingly not seldom changing over time
> because societies are ever changing. This reasoning applies of
> course even for pseudonyms and »crafted» personalities of all kinds.
> Of course, this complexity needs to be taken into account when
> designing authority records.
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