2% of British people said yes, they were very prejudiced. 13% said they were a little prejudiced. How weird. These 2% are not the ultra-woke, who analyse themselves, recognise their inner prejudice, and resolve to contradict it. Nor are they the gender critical feminists, who would not admit any of their attitudes were prejudiced.
Honestly. I would hope the question “Would you describe yourself as prejudiced against trans people?” in the British Social Attitudes survey would get a 100% no. This means that people do not view this prejudice as wrong. You see a trans woman and make assumptions about her. 6% said such prejudice was rarely or never wrong. Only 52% said it was always wrong. So often, people imagine bad things about a trans woman, and believe these imaginings are correct.
Do you think trans people have transitioned because of a “very superficial or temporary need”? Transition was defined as “all of part of a process to change the sex” which “might include by changing their name, wearing different clothes, taking hormones or having gender reassignment surgery”. 15% agreed that transition could be from a very superficial or temporary need. 22% did not know, 61% disagreed. So most people recognise that we take transition very seriously, and only do it because we really mean it- usually for life- but some people minimise our need and our decision. That makes it easier to dismiss us.
Women were more likely than men to disagree that transitioning was superficial and temporary. Younger people were more likely to disagree than older people. People with a degree were twice as likely to disagree than people with no qualification. So, if you have a degree and you manage to get a job which fits your educational level, you will face less prejudice, but woe betide you in an unskilled job.
However when people with degrees, professional or managerial jobs, or the highest incomes were most likely to say prejudice was wrong, that is in part because they know what to say. In the 1970s, race discrimination claims were about appalling treatment, completely clear prejudice, comparing black people to apes and monkeys. By 2010 the abuse was far more subtle.
While the research brief has just been published, the data was collected in Summer and Autumn 2017, so before the current hard-Right funded campaign of hatred against trans people.
Other prejudices seem to be diminishing. 75% said premarital sexual relationships were not wrong, and 68% said same sex relations were “not wrong at all”. In 1987 74% said same-sex relations were “always” or “mostly” wrong, and now just 17% say that. It’s an improvement, and the ones saying it is wrong are disproportionately old and ill-educated.
33% of people said a woman with a child below school age should stay at home, and 8% agreed that “a man’s job is to earn the money; a woman’s job is to take care of the home and family”. There are still weird people about, with horrible opinions. But you knew that. The research brief can be found here.