Trans women and crime in toilets

Do laws specifically permitting trans women in women’s toilets affect the rates of crime in those toilets? Of course not. The predatory men who might want to attack women have far easier methods than pretending to be trans. However research in Massachusetts in 2018 shows that localities with law protecting trans women have less crime in toilets than localities without, and while there was an increase after the laws were passed, the increase in the comparable localities without law protecting trans women was greater. Massachusetts enacted a state-wide law protecting trans folk from discrimination in 2018, and malicious persons started a ballot measure to get that law vetoed. However the ballot supported the law, 1,806,742 to 857,401. I wish those 857,401 hostiles would learn the error of their ways.

There was an increase. However, as the researchers say, crime rates fluctuate over time, possibly from random variability, and the increase was no greater in localities with anti-discrimination law than without.

Of course, trans women as victims of assault do not bother the likes of State senator Buck Newton, who said the Massachusetts law was a threat to the public safety “of our daughters, of our wives”- of women as they relate to men, rather than to women generally. A 2008 survey of 93 transgender people in Washington, DC found that 9% reported experiencing physical assault in a public restroom.

The researchers found that crime in toilets is extremely rare. There were 4.5 violations of privacy or safety per 100,000 population in the localities studied. In Massachusetts, there were 32.6 rapes reported per 100,000 population. It is estimated that only a third of rapes and sexual assaults are reported to the police. However the study showed that a Gender Identity Inclusive Public Accommodation Non-Discrimination Ordinance, GIPANDO in their language, trans-accepting law in mine, in “public accommodations”- “public bathroom, public restroom, public locker room, or public changing room” did not alter the number of offences when compared to places without that law. The researchers concluded,

While criminal incidents do, in fact, rarely occur in such spaces, these findings suggest that concerns over the safety in those spaces should be more generally related to community safety and policing, and not related to nondiscrimination laws…

The results show that the passage of such nondiscrimination laws is not related to the number or frequency of criminal incidents in such public spaces. Additionally, the results show that reports of privacy and safety violations in public restrooms, locker rooms, and changing rooms were exceedingly rare and much lower than statewide rates of reporting violent crimes more generally. This study provides evidence that fears of increased safety and privacy violations as a result of nondiscrimination laws are not empirically grounded.

I can’t explain the methodology completely, because I don’t know what a “one-tailed alpha” is. Someone with better statistical skills than I should have a look at the paper. However, the researchers found localities which had enacted non-discrimination laws for trans people, and comparable localities which had not. To find comparable localities, they considered “population size, the percent of the population over the age of 65, the percent of population that is non-Hispanic white, the percent of population earning more than $200,000, median income, the percent of the population living below the poverty line, the percent of the population that identifies as Born Again, percentage of the vote for Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election, and a composite crime score based on numerous indices.” They concluded that “the distinguishing factor between these localities is the existence or absence of a public accommodations-specific nondiscrimination law that applied to gender identity.”

They then made public records requests of the localities with anti-discrimination law, and the comparable localities without, for the period of two years before and after the law was enacted. They concluded that anti-discrimination law for trans people did not have an effect on victimization, mainly because there are so few of us: other research shows “The cumulative addition of legal inclusion of marginalized groups may, however, reduce victimization rates.” The more people are protected by law, the less victimisation there is.

They found that in the localities with anti-discrimination law, there was an increase of violations of privacy or safety from 0 to 0.62 per 100,000. However, in the comparable localities without anti-discrimination law, in the same period there was an increase from 2.54 to 4.50 per 100,000.

The hard right whips up hatred to conceal that it does nothing of value for its voters. Buck Newton and Dominic Cummings are concerned to persecute harmless trans women rather than to protect cis women, and that their handmaidens who are anti-trans campaigners assist them to distract from actual threat or harm to women.

2 thoughts on “Trans women and crime in toilets

  1. How surprising! I was convinced rapists were preoccupied with legal technicalities like being “allowed” to enter certain places. That’s the case for many criminals. We know for example that armed robbers always make sure to use weapons registered in their own name. Murderers never trespass, that would be going too far. So it stands to reason that a rapist would go through the trouble of pretending to be trans, perhaps even getting a special certificate in their own name saying they’re trans, so when they go through with the planned rape, all the paperwork is in order.

    Liked by 1 person

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