I need to run a statistical test on gender (to compare to population as a whole and to compare among independent blocks in my survey). My question is:

. should I convert gender variable from factor (1-=female, 2=male, 3=binary, 4=other) to numeric and run a test based on some mean percentage in the pop?

.. OR ..

should I keep as factor and calculate percentages in each category to compare to pop?

(follow up: is the answer affected by the fact that i dont just have “female/male” but rather “female, male, binary, other”?)

Thx