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University Stats-gathering Bullshit

(17 Posts)
RadicalFern Thu 29-Oct-20 13:03:07

Every year I'm on my course I need to re-register with my university. This year the information gathering questions include: "Does your gender identity match the one assigned to you at birth" with answering options Yes, No, and Prefer not to say. I cannot skip this step, but I can't answer. I prefer to say "I don't have a gender identity" but that is not an option.

I can't progress with my registration unless I put an answer. I don't know whether to contact the university and make a fuss, or cop out and put the third option just to get it over with. Does anyone know if it's legal to prevent you from registering unless you answer their questions?

OP’s posts: |
HarrietOh Thu 29-Oct-20 13:14:45

The University are required to ask that question and those specific answers.

HarrietOh Thu 29-Oct-20 13:15:48

Edit to add: It is compulsory for Universities to collect this information this year.

Aesopfable Thu 29-Oct-20 13:19:02

That link Harriet:
The Advance HE suggested question: Is your gender identity the same as the gender you were originally assigned at birth?

Advance HE has a number of resources relating to gathering information across the protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010.

Spot the issue...

HarrietOh Thu 29-Oct-20 13:22:30


testing987654321 Thu 29-Oct-20 13:23:18

Wow Harriet that is shocking. How are they going to use that information.

Can they explain what a gender identity is?
Do they actually mean compared to sex observed at birth?
Who assigns a gender identity, given that some parents are calling their kids "theybies" (baby not gender neutral?) to indicate they are not bringing them up to follow a girl role or a boy role.

The whole thing is mad.

testing987654321 Thu 29-Oct-20 13:24:15

Oh yes, they should be asking about sex and gender reassignment if going by protected characteristics.

HarrietOh Thu 29-Oct-20 13:27:37

I should probably clarify, there is a separate question on sex that must be asked too:

Iamanaubergine Thu 29-Oct-20 13:51:25

Actually the advice from Advance HE is to ask ‘Does your gender identity match your sex as registered at birth?‘ So the HESA advice is incorrect.

Aesopfable Thu 29-Oct-20 13:55:29

”When a question on 'sex' is asked, questions should not simultaneously be asked on 'gender' as this may inadvertently out trans people.”

But surely the whole point is to ‘out’ trans people in so far as they need to monitor them for equality purposes. Why else ask?

HarrietOh Thu 29-Oct-20 13:56:18

Probably needs pointing out to them as I imagine many Universities may only read the HESA advice!

TheShoesa Thu 29-Oct-20 14:19:59

”When a question on 'sex' is asked, questions should not simultaneously be asked on 'gender' as this may inadvertently out trans people.”

This is part of the issue IMHO. I realise that people who are trans may wish to keep that secret (although in the vast majority of cases it is fairly easy to tell if someone has a gender identity - or even lega sex - different from their birth sex). I also accept that people who are trans have specific healthcare needs. How can these be adequately provided for if no one has any idea of how many people are in need of such a service?

TheShoesa Thu 29-Oct-20 14:25:42


Aesopfable Thu 29-Oct-20 14:31:18

What is the point of gathering Gender ID? It is not a protected characteristic, you cannot separate provision by gender, there is simply no need to record gender so under GDPR they shouldn’t.

testing987654321 Thu 29-Oct-20 14:37:02

This is part of the issue IMHO. I realise that people who are trans may wish to keep that secret

Have you watched the WPUK webinar on the census? One of the speakers on that raised the fact that it seems to be part of being transgender that people don't want this status recorded or counted anywhere.

It makes it very hard for the average person to follow - that people want to pretend they are the opposite sex, and never refer to it again once they have "transitioned". Even though they will have specific health needs.

TheShoesa Thu 29-Oct-20 15:05:42

It is a difficult one - it is no good a particular group saying that specific needs are not being met, if that same group refuse to be recorded as being part of that group.

The census is a case in point. The 2021 census is a golden opportunity to gather meaningful data on how many people of either sex transition and at what point in their life, to better address the specific needs of that group

Aesopfable Thu 29-Oct-20 15:39:07

Good point. But I suspect they don’t want this as they want to control the narrative and clear data might contradict them.

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