After all this time we still don't seem to be getting sex right

To get the joke out of the way, if we're not getting sex right we should speak for ourselves, everyone else seems to be enjoying it all immensely. But that's not quite the point we wish to make. We, societally, still aren't getting the times when sexuality matters, and when it doesn't, quite right.

Civil servants overseeing a controversial policy which forces doctors to ask all patients about their sexuality are unhappy answering the question themselves, Government documents show.

From April next year, all NHS doctors and nurses will have had to enquire about their patient’s sexual orientation, regardless of its relevance to the illness.

The policy has been criticised on the basis it risks making people uncomfortable and damaging the doctor-patient relationship.

Now, a report by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) reveals that more than a third of officials did not feel able to disclose their own status when asked.

The point here being that sexuality does matter at times - and not just when looking for a date. Certain forms of penetrative sex - whatever the sex of the recipient - is useful medical information. Being a lesbian might lead to a certain efficiency in the use of birth control. None of which has any relevance at all to how well the claims clerk at the welfare office deals with matters.

The same is true of such matters as race. The melanin enrichment of our accountant matters not a damn, a West African genetic inheritance is most useful to know when investigating sickle cell anaemia.  

That is, we're getting it all wrong about sex, gender, race and the rest of the distinctions we obsess over.  In vast areas of life none of them matter. Thus the counting of them in those areas is not just unimportant but shouldn't be done. On that Cowperthwaite basis, that if the information is collected then some damn fool will just try to do something with it. Yet at the same time there's a prissiness about collecting relevant and useful data about differences when they do matter.

Civil servants are quite right to insist that private matters are private matters. We're not enhancing the efficiency of doctoring by insisting upon the same point.