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A tale of two (apparently conflicting) surveys regarding public support for gender identity services

Summarised by Centrist 

In 2023, an IPSOS survey found that 59% of Kiwis agreed that transgender teenagers should have access to gender-affirming care with parental consent. Conversely, a Curia survey around the same time showed that 54% supported banning such treatments for children under 18 who identify as transgender. 

What’s going on? 

The two recent surveys’ seemingly contradictory findings are attributed to differences in survey wording, order of questions, and priming effects, according to political commentator Grant Duncan. 

The IPSOS survey used softer terms like “care” and “counselling” in its wording. The Curia survey employed harder medical terminology like “blockers” and “hormones.” 

Additionally, the IPSOS survey primed respondents with a question about protecting transgender people from discrimination, framing subsequent questions more positively. 

In contrast, Curia’s survey primed respondents with a question about teaching primary-age children about gender. This potentially led to more negative responses regarding medical interventions.

Moreover, both surveys lacked consideration of scientific evidence and clinical advice on gender identity services, said Duncan. 

The conflicting results illustrate the need for caution in interpreting public opinion surveys, especially on complex and sensitive issues like gender identity services, he said. 

According to Duncan these surveys provide insights into public perceptions, but should not be treated as objective facts or informal plebiscites, which require the government to act. 

Read more over at Politics Happens

Image: Sleeps-Darkly

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