The largest Australian study of trans and gender-diverse health was conducted in 2018. You can download the findings of the 2018 Australian Trans and Gender Diverse Sexual Health Survey here from the Kirby Institute.
About the respondents
It was an online survey with 1613 completed answers from “trans or gender diverse” respondents. 82% lived in a major city and had an average age of 24.5 years. 74% were tertiary-education (noting that 28% of respondents earn less than $15k annually).
A large number of participants were female. Is this surprising when the lead researchers are well-connected trans-identified females?
|Female – 61.1%||Male – 38.9%|
|Non-binary female – 39.2%||Non-binary male – 14.3%|
|Trans man female – 21.9%||Trans woman male – 24.6%|
Interestingly, 3.4% of respondents had not yet told anyone they are trans or gender diverse (p6).
Very interestingly, 35 respondents were certain that they were intersex. That’s quite a high number and could point to sampling issues.
Sexuality and Labels
I want to point out the 3 spikes in the graph on sexuality labels.
- The correlation between “queer” and non-binary female identity is striking. 20-something women seeking their place, trying to fit into a queer world where it’s not cool to just be a straight or even bi-curious female any more.
- The massive cluster of queer, pansexual-identified people. The average age of participants is 24.5 years. They are tertiary-educated and so are in the phase of life where they begin to climb the career ladder and look for partners. Over half of respondents were single. They’re horny. I’d bet their Tinder profiles have zero filters applied.
- The undeniable spike of trans women (men) who identify as homosexual women. These are the space invaders. Only a handful of trans women (men) identified as queer, indicating that they aren’t embracing the new ideology that anybody can love any body. These are straight (possibly homophobic) AGPs cruising for lesbians.
According to this study, trans people experience incredible rates of sexual violence
Page 10 and Appendix E deal with sexual violence and coercion. The study asks:
‘Have you ever been forced or frightened into doing something sexually that you did not want to do?’ Participants had the option to bypass this section entirely, an option taken up by 180 (11.2%) participants.
The findings are astonishing. Not least because they switch out the words in the question “felt forced or frightened” with new words “experienced sexual violence”.
Excluding those who did not answer these questions, survey participants reported rates of sexual violence or coercion nearly four times higher than found in the general Australian public
The figure for “the Australian Public” is from a groundbreaking survey of sexual attitudes in Australia. The figure stated in the summary findings is that 4% of men and 22% of women had ever been frightened or forced.
I have a few small issues with comparing these figures.
Firstly, the trans and gender-diverse figure excludes respondents who don’t answer the question. This gives a larger percentage than if they had been included. The total number of people who claimed they had been coerced was 762. As a percentage of answers to this question this is 53.2%. As a percentage of responses to the survey it is only 47.2%. A small but significant difference.
As an absurd example, what if only 1 answer was received to this question and what if that answer was negative? It would be hard to believe that zero respondents had experienced coercion when we know how high rates are in the general population.
The question is general in nature
The study does not ask when sexual assaults or coercion occurred. It asks “have you ever” been frightened or coerced. It may have occurred in childhood. It may have lead to the trauma that precipitated gender transition. The study interprets the results as though trans and gender diverse people are at risk of present harm. It may well be that they are a product of past harm.
The question is subjective
The question does not refer to criminal or medical standards of sexual violence. It asks if they felt frightened or forced. There are many times I have felt frightened or forced, not just in a sexual context, but in the workplace, out at social events and when dealing with people on the streets. These times rarely amounted to experiencing assault.
The results are discussed in a way that supposes a “yes” answer means the person was assaulted by an objective medical or legal standard. By using the term “sexual violence” the discussion evokes sexual assault and rape that should be reported to police rather than a feeling of coercion. This study was reported sensationally in the SMH under the banner “‘What’s in your pants?’ Gender diverse people exposed to high rates of sexual violence“.
Coercion is bad enough. It doesn’t need to be amped up in order for us to have a serious discussion.
Not ALL transgender people experience high rates of violence
The study points out that the highest levels of coercion (remember this is answering yes to ‘Have you ever been forced or frightened into doing something sexually that you did not want to do?’) are experienced by females.
Sexual violence and coercion were much more common among participants who had been assigned female at birth – trans men and nonbinary people – compared with those assigned male (61.8% vs 39.3%)
Yet it does nothing with this insight. The study hurriedly adds that trans women also experience exceedingly high rates of sexual violence and moves on.
Women. Experience. Sexual. Coercion. It’s not because they wear frilly dresses, it’s because they have vaginas and uteri. Wake up people! It’s probably the transbians from page 6 who are doing it.
Before we leave this study, I’d like to point out this graphic. We don’t often receive insights into how hormones affect women. This figure makes it crystal clear. Testosterone increases female libido. You may have witnessed a trans identified female (or non-binary female) taking testosterone and then changing her behaviour regarding sex and relationships.
Page 15 holds a graph of risky sexual practices. Trans men (women) are clearly ahead in “inconsistent condom use (casual partners)”.
Oestrogen depresses male libido. Many men will choose to take oestrogen in order to grow breasts and then discontinue use so that they can regain use of their genitals (quote – top left of the image).
Who is behind this study?
That’s a very, very interesting question, which I will answer in my next post.