Trans

Majority who oppose trans rights and Black Lives Matter movement have warped sense of reality, according to science

Lily Wakefield June 11, 2021
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Black Trans Lives Matter Protest

Black Trans Lives Matter protest in London, June, 2020. (Barcroft Media via Getty/ Wiktor Szymanowicz)

The majority of people who oppose trans rights and the Black Lives Matter movement have an incorrect “perception of reality”, a study has shown.

The research, conducted by the Policy Institute at King’s College London and Ipsos MORI and titled “The ‘fault lines’ in the UK’s culture wars“, studied the viewpoints of participants “on each side of six high-profile issues”.

The six issues, which were presented by researchers as “prominent current debates”, included transgender rights and the Black Lives Matter movement, alongside Brexit, party politics, the British empire and COVID-19.

The study looked at three elements of “culture war issues”: “How strongly people identify with a ‘side’ in a culture war debate, the social distance between one side and the other side, and whether group identity affects perceptions of measurable realities.”

While more “liberal” or left-leaning participants were more likely to say they would struggle to be friends with those “who take the opposing point of view”, the “traditional” or right-leaning respondents were shown to have a warped sense of reality.

In fact, the majority of those who opposed the Black Lives Matter movement and those who think trans rights have “gone too far” disagreed with factual realities.

Of all respondents, 31 per cent said they believed “trans rights have not gone far enough” in the UK. A further 31 per cent said “trans rights have gone as far as they should”, and 17 per cent said they had “gone too far”.

But those who opposed trans rights did not have a basic grasp of facts.

Among those who thought trans rights had “gone too far”, just 67 per cent were unable to correctly identify that trans people were twice as likely to be the victim of crime compared to the UK population as a whole, while 79 per cent those who supported expanding trans rights were able to understand that this was the case.

Similarly, almost two thirds of those who opposed the Black Lives Matter movement did not believe the proven fact that “Black African, Caribbean or Black British employees earned around nine per cent less than White British employees”, and 39 per cent said they thought Black and white employees earned the same amount.

While participants on the “traditional” right-leaning side of the political spectrum mostly opposed the Black Lives Matter movement and disagreed with expanding rights for trans people, they did strongly believe that we should be “proud” of the British Empire, which was responsible for many anti-LGBT+ laws around the world that are still in effect today.

Of Conservative party voters, 67 per cent said the British Empire was “something to be proud of”, compared to just 19 per cent of Labour voters.

Related topics: black lives matter, trans rights

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