Fewer than one in three people believe trans women should be allowed in female changing rooms, a poll has found.
And less than a quarter think that transgender athletes ought to be permitted to compete in women’s sports.
The research, published today by the Sex Matters campaign group, shines a light on public attitudes ahead of a parliamentary debate on protecting single-sex spaces.
The survey of 1,800 adults is believed to be the first to ask the British public whether it should be possible to exclude biological males who identify as women from single-sex provision for women.
It found fewer than one in four respondents (24 per cent) felt sports clubs should not be allowed to exclude trans women from competing in women’s sports.
The research, published today by the Sex Matters campaign group, shines a light on public attitudes ahead of a parliamentary debate on protecting single-sex spaces
And less than one in three (28 per cent) thought it would be wrong for a gym to exclude trans women from using female facilities, such as showers and changing rooms.
Sex Matters co-founder Maya Forstater, a tax expert who won a landmark employment tribunal case guaranteeing the right to express gender critical views (the belief that sex is biological and cannot be changed), said: ‘This survey, because people were able to respond privately, is a good way of getting to what people really think when they are not afraid to say it.
‘Many people believe that ‘gender identity’ trumps sex. But the material reality of sex continues to exist, and women still suffer discrimination because they are female.
‘I think what this survey shows is that people feel if you ask them generally about trans people and trans rights, we want to live and let live, and let people live their best life. That’s right.
‘But ask them about the detail of males being allowed into female spaces, they say no – they’re thinking about the safety of women and girls.
‘There is a lot of societal pressure on women and girls to be seen to be inclusive even if it means putting their own interests second. It’s difficult for individuals to stand up and say no.
‘That’s why the Government needs to be clear on rules and facts in this field.’
Parliament will next week debate a petition to update the Equality Act to make it clear that the characteristic ‘sex’ refers to biological sex.
Ms Forstater said it was important for the Government to leave no ambiguity, after politicians including Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and former Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tripped up when asked to define what a woman is.
Ms Forstater said: ‘Sir Keir Starmer isn’t really helping when he says 99.9 per cent of women don’t have a penis.
‘When they are ambiguous, it pushes the problem down to the public, and to the 18-year-old assistant at the gym or the teacher at school who has to decide who goes into which changing room.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk