Next month's census will conflate data on sex and gender

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Hallouminatus
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According to a report in The Telegraph https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/202...dentification/, 'We are on the brink of losing robust, high-quality data on sex in the UK,' academics said. 'Once gone, we may never get it back'.
As well as academics, many feminist and LGBT organisations have expressed concerns. A group of them have issued a joint statement in which they announce the launch of a website on Sunday 21 Feb, where they will offer guidance for anyone who has concerns about this: https://docs.google.com/document/d/e...cUJLLgrm-g/pub
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SHallowvale
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Do you have an article which isn't behind a paywall?
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Hallouminatus
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(Original post by SHallowvale)
Do you have an article which isn't behind a paywall?
https://fairplayforwomen.com/census-sex-question/
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anarchism101
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(Original post by Hallouminatus)
As well as academics, many feminist and LGBT organisations have expressed concerns. A group of them have issued a joint statement in which they announce the launch of a website on Sunday 21 Feb, where they will offer guidance for anyone who has concerns about this: https://docs.google.com/document/d/e...cUJLLgrm-g/pub
There are no LGBT organisations in the statement you link. There are three claiming to be some subset of LGBT:
- 'LGB Alliance' - quite explicitly not an LGBT group, in fact essentially a single issue anti-trans group.
- 'Lesbian Rights Alliance' - hadn't heard of them before this, but based on their home page, which is pretty much entirely trans-related items (and prominently features a quote from extremist crank Mary Daly), seems to be the same as the above.
- 'Lesbian Labour' - doesn't seem to exist beyond a Twitter account with ~650 followers. Labour doesn't have a specifically lesbian affiliate group.

This is pretty normal for anti-trans stuff - ostensibly women's or gay groups aren't really the driving force, they're the palatable cover story to give an essentially reactionary right-wing agenda a veneer of being progressive or leftie.
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Hallouminatus
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(Original post by anarchism101)
There are no LGBT organisations in the statement you link. There are three claiming to be some subset of LGBT:
- 'LGB Alliance' - quite explicitly not an LGBT group, in fact essentially a single issue anti-trans group.
- 'Lesbian Rights Alliance' - hadn't heard of them before this, but based on their home page, which is pretty much entirely trans-related items (and prominently features a quote from extremist crank Mary Daly), seems to be the same as the above.
- 'Lesbian Labour' - doesn't seem to exist beyond a Twitter account with ~650 followers. Labour doesn't have a specifically lesbian affiliate group.

This is pretty normal for anti-trans stuff - ostensibly women's or gay groups aren't really the driving force, they're the palatable cover story to give an essentially reactionary right-wing agenda a veneer of being progressive or leftie.
I haven't investigated each of the organisations listed. I used the umbrella term LGBT as it's clear that several of the organisations represent one or more of the groups covered by that umbrella. I haven't seen anything to suggest that these organisations have an anti-trans, reactionary, right-wing agenda, or that they are providing cover for a hidden driving force. Perhaps you'd like to justify that assertion?
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anarchism101
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(Original post by Hallouminatus)
I haven't investigated each of the organisations listed. I used the umbrella term LGBT as it's clear that several of the organisations represent one or more of the groups covered by that umbrella. I haven't seen anything to suggest that these organisations have an anti-trans, reactionary, right-wing agenda, or that they are providing cover for a hidden driving force. Perhaps you'd like to justify that assertion?
Here's a poll from last year. If you look at the polling trends and demographics as whole, it's clear that:
- Across pretty much every category, regardless of the area of discussion, regardless of whether it was trans men or trans women being discussed, and regardless of any caveats, women were more likely to be supportive of trans inclusion than men - and usually significantly more.
- Women were more supportive of the inclusion of trans women in women's spaces than men were of the inclusion of trans men in men's spaces.
- With the exception of sporting events, women's views of inclusion of trans men were at most only marginally different from their views on the inclusion of trans women.
- In additional to being predominantly male, those opposed to trans inclusion were also more likely to be Conservative voters, to be Leave voters, and to be older - all of which, apart from indicating a general skew to the right, are also less likely to identify as feminist and less likely to support gay marriage. Those who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual also generally skew younger, especially among women.

This is only one poll, but it's a representative one - that women (and younger people) are more likely to support trans inclusion is a finding replicated across numerous polls and surveys.
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Napp
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They raise some good points on this, whatever your opinion on transsexuals accurate data recording is extremely important for many government departments who use it for long term policy planning.

It's interesting noting the uptick in lesbian and feminist groups are who are all starting to take exception to their status being demolished in the name of 'inclusion' though. One by the recently 'Caesared' SNP member Cherry on the topic of how lesbians are being politely airbrushed from the LGBT history chronicles.

If nothing else though, props to the activists for making what would normally be a complete non-issue into something that repeatedly makes the headlines be it in terms of bathrooms, (usually) men playing on womens teams and so on so forth. For a tiny group its interesting to see the massive splash the issue has made.
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Napp
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(Original post by anarchism101)
Here's a poll from last year. If you look at the polling trends and demographics as whole, it's clear that:
- Across pretty much every category, regardless of the area of discussion, regardless of whether it was trans men or trans women being discussed, and regardless of any caveats, women were more likely to be supportive of trans inclusion than men - and usually significantly more.
- Women were more supportive of the inclusion of trans women in women's spaces than men were of the inclusion of trans men in men's spaces.
- With the exception of sporting events, women's views of inclusion of trans men were at most only marginally different from their views on the inclusion of trans women.
- In additional to being predominantly male, those opposed to trans inclusion were also more likely to be Conservative voters, to be Leave voters, and to be older - all of which, apart from indicating a general skew to the right, are also less likely to identify as feminist and less likely to support gay marriage. Those who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual also generally skew younger, especially among women.

This is only one poll, but it's a representative one - that women (and younger people) are more likely to support trans inclusion is a finding replicated across numerous polls and surveys.
Two quick points here;
1) Few seem to be opposed to the issue of accepting transsexuals for who they are, the issue comes when it starts affecting others rights, as trite as it is to point out, a biological woman losing to a biological male has every right in a fair world to take issue with the fact. An example i saw today was in mma where a mtf individual managed to crack someones head open.
2) It doesnt seem overly sporting to try and unsubtlety paint anyone who isnt an "ally" as nothing but an old, white, poor, bigot. Given the ongoing 'civil war', as it were, within the LGBT/Feminist communities on the issue of where transsexuals fall it would seem somewhat broader than your inference. I've forgotten which user it was on this site (i think one of the mods/section leaders) posted a link a while back to some of the impressive bigotry and infighting within the community on the issue. The point being, to infer that only white middle aged men who are supposed bigots are taking exception is somewhat wide of the mark.

And of course the inherent issue with polling in the first place.
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Ascend
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Simple solution: clarify both questions where one explicitly asks for the biological sex at birth and the other for self-identified gender.
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Hallouminatus
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(Original post by Ascend)
Simple solution: clarify both questions where one explicitly asks for the biological sex at birth and the other for self-identified gender.
Absolutely agree. In fact there is already a voluntary question: "Is the gender you identify with the same as your sex registered at birth? to which you can tick yes or no and specify your gender identity.

The problem is that they don't ask what your sex registered as birth is, only your "legal sex", which you can base on any “legal document” you choose.

They do not say which documents count. Currently a person’s passport can be changed with a doctor’s note. A student ID card can be changed on request, as can a patient’s NHS record.


So the data gathered about trans people will be impossible to interpret, since some will put down their sex at birth, while some, who may have changed the sex marker on some documents, will tick their gender identity.

This is not a pro-/anti-trans issue. It is in everyone's interest that policy and planning decisions are made on the basis of accurate information.

While it seems it's mostly women's groups campaigning about this, groups representing trans people should join them.
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anarchism101
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(Original post by Napp)
Two quick points here;
1) Few seem to be opposed to the issue of accepting transsexuals for who they are, the issue comes when it starts affecting others rights, as trite as it is to point out, a biological woman losing to a biological male has every right in a fair world to take issue with the fact. An example i saw today was in mma where a mtf individual managed to crack someones head open.
The point in question is what questions should be on a census. I think it's a bit more than a stretch to argue that the requirement to provide your birth sex on the census form is some hard-won "right".

2) It doesnt seem overly sporting to try and unsubtlety paint anyone who isnt an "ally" as nothing but an old, white, poor, bigot.
I didn't refer to anyone being white, poor or bigoted. Nor did I say that everyone opposed to trans inclusion is old, just that they are more likely to be old, which was not so much significant in itself, but only insofar as the other correlations it indicates.

Given the ongoing 'civil war', as it were, within the LGBT/Feminist communities on the issue of where transsexuals fall it would seem somewhat broader than your inference.
You're demonstrating precisely the argument I was responding to in the first place. It is in the interests of anti-trans campaigners to portray the issue as being primarily one of an intra-feminist and intra-LGBT dispute - as I said, it gives a progressive veneer to their positions. And so they push to the front the kinds of groups and figures that support such a narrative, which media outlets often just accept and repeat at face value, partly out of gullibility, and partly because it makes for a more interesting and complex story. But it's not representative of the reality of the wider public's views of trans people.

And of course the inherent issue with polling in the first place.
As I said, similar trends are repeated across multiple polls and surveys.
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L i b
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Realistically, we didn't have an entirely accurate approach in previous censuses. Given the number of people involved, it's hardly a huge issue.
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Hallouminatus
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(Original post by L i b)
Realistically, we didn't have an entirely accurate approach in previous censuses. Given the number of people involved, it's hardly a huge issue.
You may think it's not important, but many disagree, and a fundraiser for an emergency judicial review of the definition of sex in the 2021 census was launched yesterday evening, and has already raised over £23 000 from over 900 supporters.
www.crowdfunder.co.uk/sexinthecensus2021
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by Hallouminatus)
You may think it's not important, but many disagree, and a fundraiser for an emergency judicial review of the definition of sex in the 2021 census was launched yesterday evening, and has already raised over £23 000 from over 900 supporters.
www.crowdfunder.co.uk/sexinthecensus2021
Why do these people disagree, though? Transgendered and transexual people make up a very small fraction of the population. Even if all of these people answered the 'sex question' using their legal sex and not their birth sex, it's not like it will make a meaningful difference.

Certainly no information is being 'lost' in the 2021 census compared to 2011 and prior, given that all previous census questions simply asked "What is your sex" with no further clarification.
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L i b
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(Original post by Hallouminatus)
You may think it's not important, but many disagree, and a fundraiser for an emergency judicial review of the definition of sex in the 2021 census was launched yesterday evening, and has already raised over £23 000 from over 900 supporters.
www.crowdfunder.co.uk/sexinthecensus2021
Oh, I'm aware it's all part of a big culture war that gets people - albeit a relatively small chunk of the overall population - very animated. It just doesn't actually make much difference either way to the integrity of the census.
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Hallouminatus
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(Original post by SHallowvale)
Why do these people disagree, though? Transgendered and transexual people make up a very small fraction of the population. Even if all of these people answered the 'sex question' using their legal sex and not their birth sex, it's not like it will make a meaningful difference.

Certainly no information is being 'lost' in the 2021 census compared to 2011 and prior, given that all previous census questions simply asked "What is your sex" with no further clarification.
I guess until recently it simply had not occurred to anyone that the question "What is your sex?" should require clarification. The current version of the guidance doesn't require either "birth sex" or "legal sex"; it says to use the sex shown on official documents, which in most cases can be changed according to the whim of the individual.

While this may make little difference to the overall numbers of males and females registered, it can easily make a very significant difference to the data gathered about one specific sector of the population: transgender people. Anyone who has an interest transgender rights, health and welfare should be in favour of gathering accurate information about this population. No doubt there are other concerns which will become clear in any debate, discussion or legal action around this.

On the other hand if this matters so little, why has the guidance changed at this late stage?
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anarchism101
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(Original post by Hallouminatus)
You may think it's not important, but many disagree, and a fundraiser for an emergency judicial review of the definition of sex in the 2021 census was launched yesterday evening, and has already raised over £23 000 from over 900 supporters.
www.crowdfunder.co.uk/sexinthecensus2021
Their only concrete complaint seems to be that the census question allows you to write down the sex stated in your passport, and it's marginally easier for trans people to change this than it is for them to get a GRC - though it's still not purely self-ID, and the idea that other legal documents based on self-ID could be used is pure speculation on their part.

Also kind of bizarre to cite the GRA consultation when the government ignored the results of that consultation.
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by Hallouminatus)
While this may make little difference to the overall numbers of males and females registered, it can easily make a very significant difference to the data gathered about one specific sector of the population: transgender people. Anyone who has an interest transgender rights, health and welfare should be in favour of gathering accurate information about this population. No doubt there are other concerns which will become clear in any debate, discussion or legal action around this.

On the other hand if this matters so little, why has the guidance changed at this late stage?
The people who started the crowd funder don't seem like the people who care about accurate data on transgender people. Read their fundraising page; their main concern is accurate data on sex.
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Hallouminatus
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(Original post by SHallowvale)
The people who started the crowd funder don't seem like the people who care about accurate data on transgender people. Read their fundraising page; their main concern is accurate data on sex.
Yes, I've read Fair Play For Women's statement, as well as Stonewall's statement. Both organisations claim, unsurprising, to want accurate data, but Stonewall seem to support guidance on the sex question which is bound to make the data less accurate. I can't really understand why they'd want this, but in any case it seems that they have a great deal of influence with the ONS.
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by Hallouminatus)
Yes, I've read Fair Play For Women's statement, as well as Stonewall's statement. Both organisations claim, unsurprising, to want accurate data, but Stonewall seem to support guidance on the sex question which is bound to make the data less accurate. I can't really understand why they'd want this, but in any case it seems that they have a great deal of influence with the ONS.
So I guess Fair Play For Women's concern is trivial and Stonewall are incompetent, then?
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