Ignorance at Work

Following trans-related groups online means that I get to see quite a few surveys aimed at or about trans people. I try to fill them in because I feel that gathering data is generally a good thing to do. Every so often, however, you see a survey that is so bad that you quickly come to the conclusion that whatever results it produces will be a waste of time because the people who put it together have no idea what they are doing.

Today I discovered this survey. It was created by Drs Daragh McDermott and Poul Rohleder with the assistance of Ashley Brooks of Anglia Ruskin University, whom I name specifically because I think they need to be publicly shamed for an appallingly shoddy piece of work. It purports to be a survey about prejudice against trans men and women, but it is pretty clear from the poor way that the few questions actually about trans people were worded that the originators of the survey have no understanding of what “trans men and women” means beyond what they might have read in the pages of the Daily Malice. Given the survey’s obsession with aggressively negative questions about gay men and feminism, and the way in which it appears to try to lead respondents into expressing prejudice against both, I strongly suspect some sort unethical agenda at work here.

Sadly it is quite a long survey, so I don’t want to encourage you to do anything with it. Also I don’t want you to get to the end feeling as angry as I did. My only consolation is that “Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells” will be as upset about the waste of taxpayers money on this nonsense as I am.

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7 Responses to Ignorance at Work

  1. Catherine Butler says:

    You aren’t kidding! The first question asks for your gender, and then presents MTF (i.e. trans woman) and female as mutually exclusive options. I stopped right there.

  2. Farah Mendlesohn says:

    Given I am now in a position to do so, I will forward your concerns to the ethics committee which has to approve these surveys.

    • Catherine Butler says:

      Farah, you may want to look also at Q6, which assesses the degree of your religious belief. And what’s the metric it uses? How often you attend church.

      • Farah Mendlesohn says:

        I actually can’t. It turns out that if you open the first page, close the browser and then go in again it declares you have completed the survey.

        • Catherine Butler says:

          Yes, same thing happened to me! But from memory, it asked how religious you were, then gave a drop-down memory with the options

          Very religious (i.e. attend church frequently)
          Quite religious (i.e. attend church sometimes)

          etc. And it was definitely “i.e.” not “e.g.”.

  3. Hmm… I clicked through just now and only got “This survey is not accepting additional responses at this time.” Maybe the complaints have been heard!

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