Lies, Damn Lies, and Gender Critical Statistics

The transphobes give you a narrow view to make you think the worst.

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” An analogy of the Gender Critical approach to evidence: pay attention to what we tell you, not what you can find out for yourself.

Gender Criticals love a good statistic. Especially one that makes trans people, especially trans women, look like some terror foisted upon society. It’s a common trope to try and smear trans women as some kind of sexual predator in waiting, in a recycling of 1990s and 2000s homophobia where religious zealots tried to smear gay people as paedophiles.

One of there favourite moves is to quote this piece of information from the Ministry of Justice obtained by Fair Play for Women (a known anti-trans hate group that does no actual work in advancing women’s equality) under the Freedom of Information Act:

MoJ data that appears to show shocking figures about trans women — or does it?

If we look at this image, and only this image, it would appear to suggest that statistical trends are showing that trans women are horrifically more likely to commit sexual assault than the rest of the population put together.

Well, that’s trans rights ended everyone go home. No need to look at the size of the population…. wait what?

Pay No Attention to the Reality Behind the Curtain

To appreciate why this sleight of hand is so egregious, we need to consider the population of the UK, and the percentage of that population that are trans.

According to Google, the UK’s adult population is 54 million, give or take some change. The best estimates of the trans population is just under 1%, with a more or less 50/50 split between genetic males and genetic females (I use these terms here to disambiguate the necessity to divide the adult population in half for the purpose of estimating trans vs cis population).

That makes around 270,000 trans women in the UK. I’m not going to consider trans kids here because…. that’s just creepy to even think about.

So we have 129 trans women out of 270,000 in prison. That’s 0.047% of the entire trans woman population in prison… at all.

76 are there for sex offences, so that’s 0.028% of the entire trans woman population in prison for sex offences.

Now let’s check that against the cis figures:

3812 cis women equals 0.014% of all cis women. 125 is 0.0005% of all cis women in prison for sex offences.

78781 cis men equals 0.2% of all cis men. 13234 is 0.049% of all cis men in prison for sex offences.

So what’s happened here? What this is showing is that as a percentage of cohort population, there are nearly half as many trans women in prison for ANYTHING as there are cis men for sex offences.

Cis women come out well in these statistics: less than half of cis women prison population are in prison for any crime vs trans sex crimes. So that places trans women between cis women and cis men. What is also important to note is that the figures are all very small figures.

What happened to the big scariness then? Well, it’s a clever trick designed to manipulate statistics. We’re supposed to believe that there’s this massive skew towards trans women being sexual offenders (58%, vs 3.3% for cis women and 16% for cis men), but these figures only show percentage of all prisons under a specific demographic that are there for sexual offences, it does not show anything about offending trends overall as a factor of the population.

The Real Trends Among Trans Prisoners

What these figures do show is there is an interesting trend among trans women prisoners that shows them to be polarised towards the nature of their crimes. While cis prisoners are in prison for a range of crimes, the MoJ figures show that overall trans people are (statistically) less likely to offend at all than cis men, and (statistically) slightly more likely to offend at all than cis women.

But when the nature of crimes committed of those offenders are examined, we see a 50/50 split between sex offences and something else. At first glance, this may still seem to be a bad thing, but actually is shows that criminality among trans women is very limited, and thus prison space is given to the worst offenders: the remainder simply don’t exist.

This is in fact how the world should work: we should see prisons filled with the worst examples of society, and it seems for trans women this is happening. We see from the MoJ’s own figures that your attacker is magnitudes more likely to be a cis man, and that other lesser crimes among trans women are practically non-existent.

We Might Not Even Be Able To Trust These Figures

The problem with sex offences in the UK is that we are notoriously terrible at dealing with sex offences. Sex offences by cis women rarely get noticed, must less charges filed or a case even going to court. The situation is a little better regarding sex offences by cis men, but not in a meaningful way. It’s hard to get charges filed, and even harder to get a case to court, much less a conviction.

Likely, the figures for all 3 groups are skewed, but possibly not all in the same way. I don’t have access to all the information needed to make a fair assessment, and I don’t have the time or energy to put myself in that position. But we can definitely say that the MoJ figures reported above are probably wrong in some way.

Conclusion

Gender Critical is all about diversionary tactics. In my recent experiences, I’ve yet to account a Gender Critical who is actually willing to say what “sex is a protected characteristic” actually means. Or to correctly described the Gender Recognition Act. Most of them can’t even describe Gender Identity correctly.

This is the way of the Gender Critical: Blind people with hard hitting headlines, statements that seem shocking, statistics that look like a terrible injustice is being committed. Just don’t ask for explanations. Or look behind the curtain. You might see the bigger picture by accident.

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A nerd, software engineer and trans woman, fed up with the lies pushed by the so-called Gender Critical movement. Also on Mastodon: @GellmanRebecca@home.social

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Rebecca Gellman

A nerd, software engineer and trans woman, fed up with the lies pushed by the so-called Gender Critical movement. Also on Mastodon: @GellmanRebecca@home.social