Current Affairs

Most people say they aren’t transphobic – but aren’t completely sure about trans police or teachers

Mayer Nissim June 28, 2017
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The vast majority of Britons say they are “not prejudiced at all” against trans people, according to a new survey.

However, many of the same people do not appear to fully accept the appointment of qualified trans people as police officers or primary school teachers.

The findings come in the most recent British Social Attitudes survey, the 34th edition from NatCen Social Research.

Bathroom sign 'whatever'
Trans-friendly toilets

In the survey, 82 percent of those questioned said they were “not prejudiced at all” against transgender people.

15 percent said they were “a little prejudiced” and 2 percent as “very prejudiced.

Additionally, 53 percent of people said prejudice against transgender people is “always wrong” and 19 percent said it is “mostly wrong”.

15 percent said such prejudice “sometimes wrong”, 3 percent said “rarely wrong”, and 1 percent said “never wrong”.

Related: Teacher accused of forcing LGBT rights on students cleared

Despite more than eight in ten people saying they have no prejudice against transgender people, only 43 percent said a properly qualified trans person “definitely should” be employed as a police officer.

41 percent said the same for the role of a primary school teacher.

32 percent and 26 percent respectively said a trans person “probably should” be hired in those roles.

15 per cent said a suitably qualified trans person probably or definitely should not be hired as a police officer, and 21 percent said a trans person probably or definitely should not be hired as a primary school teacher.

“As this is the first time we have asked questions about transgender rights, we do not have any time series data to look at changes in attitudes over time,” read the report.

“However we might speculate that in the context of increasingly liberal attitudes towards same-sex relationships, attitudes towards transgender people – another group that breaks out from traditional gender norms – are likely to become more liberal in future years.”

Rosamund McNeil, Head of Education at the National Union of Teachers told PinkNews: “It’s vital that the teaching profession is inclusive and diverse. We must work out what are the barriers that stop anyone training to teaching.

“All students benefit from a diverse range of role models. Teachers who are trans should have the right to teach, and it’s important we support all schools to build an inclusive ethos. We know education can change attitudes and the British Social Attitudes Survey findings shows there’s more work to do.

We’re proud to support trans teachers through a specific Union network and to be advocating for collective rights within a diverse teaching workforce, where everyone has dignity and respect at work”.

In other findings, 13 percent of women said they were quite uncomfortable or very uncomfortable with a trans woman using a female toilet, and 15 per cent of men said they were quite uncomfortable or very uncomfortable with a trans man using a male toilet.

Related topics: british social attitudes, police officers, primary school education, survey, Trans, trans police

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