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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Eunuchs are just men

Eunuchs are just men

The Editor,

I wish to point out that the reference to the Census Questionnaire in the Gecko

column of the Phnom Penh Post (November 7-20, 1997) contains some factual errors

which are mentioned below.

The 1998 Census is sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and not

UNDP as stated in the report.

There is no question #48 in the Census Questionnaire. In the Census, the enumerator

has to record the answer to each question for every individual interviewed. In paragraph

46 of the final version of the Enumerator's Manual which is for official use, the

enumerator is instructed to fill in "Column 9: Sex" in the Houselist (Form

A) by recording code 1 for male or code 2 for female. For eunuchs and hermaphrodites,

the enumerator is asked to record code 1 as such cases are rare and this procedure

is generally followed in the censuses of other countries. It is not the intention

of the census to find out how many eunuchs and hermaphrodites are in the population.

I wish that the reporter had checked the facts before writing such a story, which

is perhaps intended to be humorous. It is not, however, in the best interests of

the Census, a national task requiring people's cooperation.

- Hou Taing Eng, Director General of the Census, National Institute of Statistics,

Min of Planning.

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