Friday, July 16, 2021

Fundraising for a comprehensive Scottish poll on GRA reform and gender issues

A couple of days ago, a poll was published in Ireland on "attitudes to gender", covering issues such as women's right to single-sex spaces, the integrity of women's sport, the right to intimate examinations being carried out by someone of the same sex, and whether people should have the right to change the sex listed on their birth certificate.  I was asked today whether I'd be willing to crowdfund and commission a similar poll for Scotland.  I checked to see if I would have broad backing, and people like Denise Findlay said they would be happy if I went ahead, so I'll give it a whirl.

On the issue of the questions: I'd consult, but probably the simplest thing would be to use the Irish poll as a broad guide.  I don't think there's any such thing as 'completely neutral wording' for poll questions on such sensitive matters, but I'd be looking to make sure that respondents have clarity on what they're being asked, rather than using trendy buzzwords like "inclusion" and "simplification of the process" which can lead to misleading results.  However, I'd also try to avoid falling into the trap of laying the specifics on with a shovel to such an extent that the questions become obviously biased in the other direction.

A full-scale poll will cost a few thousand pounds - I can't put an exact figure on it because different firms have different prices, and it also depends on the number of questions (and sometimes also the question format).  For the last two weeks I've been using the Scot Goes Pop general fundraiser to crowdfund this blog's next poll on independence and related matters, and that raised approximately £1000.  I'll make sure that money is used in the way intended - the GRA questions are something totally different.  It may well be that a separate fundraiser will be needed to make promotion easier, but I've got a very busy day ahead, so in the meantime if you'd like to donate, once again use the Scot Goes Pop general fundraiser and anything raised over the next few days will be put towards the GRA poll.  So to donate click HERE, or for an alternative payment method click HERE.

16 comments:

  1. Great idea James, especially in light of the SG refusing to publish the results of the GRA public Consultation.

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  2. James,

    I donated today as I believe the GRA issue needs higher profile and people may not even be aware of the implications especially for women. Add in HCB and you have a perfect storm.

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  3. I think some of it might require some multi-option questions - strongly support to strongly oppose type - as well as at least one open question about concerns people may have over gender reform. That could include things like risk of sexual assaults in women's prisons, but could also include young trans folk self-harming. It would be interesting to see what specific concerns exist and possibly what importance they're given.

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  4. Donated. Hope the Sturgeon Yourh don’t catch you.

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  5. Great idea to get some public opinion on this, but very tricky to frame questions in a neutral way when many people are not informed about either the issues or the gov plans. In fact this is one of the tactics of the trans lobby - to implement changes in law below the radar of public opinion or debate. They go to great lengths to avoid it, preferring to focus their efforts on smearing and intimidating those who are informed and have legitimate issues with the proposals. For instance, they tried very hard to avoid it at the May election, because they know they can't answer simple questions like 'what is a woman?' Really. (Because they would have to answer 'anyone who self identifies as one', regardless of their biology)

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    1. There is no neutral way to frame the question. Try thinking of a neutral way of framing a question on support for paedophilia, all you can do is state the facts and ask people if they agree or no. Then call the police.

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    2. Excellent point Ian. The striking feature of the Trans debate is that we're simply not permitted to have one.

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  6. I suggest something like "What percentage of trans people have had genital surgery?"

    [It's actually quite low]

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  7. Can you ask " do you wish everyone would just shut up and mind their own business?" And " do you think people get upset by these things to cover up the fact that they are not solving real problems"

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    1. Is it really not their business if, for example, they're denied a gold medal?

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    2. "Trans people twice as likely to be victims of crime, true or false?" The irony of you, of all people, making that assertion is certainly piquant. The truth is, no-one really knows because those figures aren't, currently, collected in any way which would meaningfully allow one to make such assertions. What figures we do have are ambivalent on the matter: it would be just as possible to claim they were less at risk from them.

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  8. I checked to see if I would have broad backing, and people like Denise Findlay said they would be happy if I went ahead, so I'll give it a whirl.

    Really? That's all it takes?

    Trans people twice as likely to be victims of crime, true or false?

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    1. The normal procedure is that if you make a claim of fact and demand that people accept it, you provide some evidence to support it. In any case, I'm struggling to see why that would make the case against a poll asking about issues such as the integrity of women's sport.

      As for "Really? That's all it takes?", all I was saying was that I wanted to check that there wasn't a strong feeling from people like Denise that I *shouldn't* conduct the poll.

      What are you afraid of, John? Public opinion, it seems.

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    2. Prof, "twice as likely to be victims of crime" in comparison to whom?
      Let's not forget two women per week are murdered in Scotland. (Women's Aid figure), so the answer to your hypothetical question is 'false.

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  9. As this issue is consuming the SNP and the SGP to the exclusion of genuinely important issues like independence and climate action, it has assumed a significance greater than the 1/2% who are trans.

    The issue has been slipped in under the radar by trans activists who are aware that most party members and most voters do not support their views.

    So I'd support you asking the questions in a poll. I'd like to see "Trans women are women and trans men are men" true or false? And "Can a biological male be a woman?"

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  10. As this issue is consuming the SNP and the SGP to the exclusion of genuinely important issues like independence and climate action, it has assumed a significance greater than the 1/2% who are trans.

    The issue has been slipped in under the radar by trans activists who are aware that most party members and most voters do not support their views.

    So I'd support you asking the questions in a poll. I'd like to see "Trans women are women and trans men are men" true or false? And "Can a biological male be a woman?"

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