When it comes to gender, the phrase from Scottish novelist and folklorist Andrew Lang fits: statistics are often used “as a drunken man uses lampposts – for support rather than for illumination”.
There is a huge amount of misinformation about gender – frequently in numerical form. Many will have heard that 41% of teenagers who wish to transition will commit suicide if denied cross-sex hormones. Or that cross-sex surgeries are “no more dangerous than wisdom teeth removal”. Or that “1.7% of people are born neither male nor female”. All of these are questionable assertions which should attract proper scrutiny.
Some of these assertions, transmitted via social media, have become cemented in the popular consciousness. They are repeated on news outlets, in school classrooms and in diversity trainings. Yet they crumble on inspection.
Many parents with gender-questioning kids are presented with statistics which make transition sound like paradise, and present any less hasty path as abusive or even dangerous. When kids ask for puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones, parents find themselves cast into PhD level research, scouring scientific papers late into the night, trying to sort fact from fiction.
Teachers, journalists, politicians and decision-makers are often confronted with data that make it seem like there’s only one option. Yet many are inwardly skeptical of the headlong rush towards transition. They think about people they know who were gender-non-conforming in their youth, and wonder what would have become of them had they grown up in an era so obsessed with gender expression.
The absence of a single, easy-to-use portal for statistics and facts about gender has hindered parents and professionals alike. That’s why Genspect created Stats For Gender.
We believe that the public has a right to reliable data, intuitively categorized, and phrased in simple, jargon-free terms. We want those who are questioning their gender to have full access to the facts. And we want their families, friends and loved ones to be able to see the bigger picture.