Radical: Have you been following the ONS census sex question fiasco? If not, here’s what you need to know.

Mar 20, 2021 by

by Rebecca Lowe, Conservative Home:

Have you been following the census ‘sex question’ fiasco? If not, then you’ve been missing out on one of the most important political stories of recent years — and my use of the term ‘political’ signifies a justification for this grandiose claim.

The census, after all, should be an apolitical matter, you might think. Surely, you’d say, it’s a matter reserved for data geeks analysing information collected directly from the person in the street (or wherever the person happens to be on Census Day). But, aside from the fact that, within a political society, no matter of public business is fully apolitical, this year’s census has become very much politicised. And this is something that should concern us all.

At Radical, we first wrote at length on the topic of the ‘sex question’ back in October, when we issued the following warning:

“Gender ideology has penetrated our institutions so deeply that, even without self-identification becoming a matter of law, the insidious idea that one’s sex is solely a matter of personal demand is seeping into policy and practice, almost unnoticed. Yet the damaging effects of this will be far-reaching, and one of the most worrying examples regards the case of the upcoming census.”

Back then, we reported that social scientists and statisticians were concerned about the guidance that was being produced to accompany the 2021 census. In a Sunday Times letter, almost 100 academics noted that this guidance would “effectively transform the sex question into one about gender identity”; they highlighted their fear that this would “undermine data reliability on a key demographic variable”.

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