True and False Statements About Trans People


Report: Trans People Seven Times More Likely Than Cisgender People to Experience Violence In California

An annual report detailing how many Californians were the victims of violence over the past year finds a slight dip in reported violence among most populations, but a sharp increase in reported violence against transgender people. (emphasis added)

Nothing I say here is intended to disparage trans people . . . I’m fine with adults doing what they want, dressing the way they want, acting the way they want, with a few minor restrictions — keep your hands to yourself, that sort of thing.

I don’t really care about trans people. But I take exception to being lied to by people advancing an agenda.

That said, the report mentioned in the article above is based on the fourth annual California Violence Experiences Survey, conducted by UC San Diego and Tulane University. If you look at it, you see that there was no “sharp increase in reported violence against transgender people” because previous surveys didn’t track responses for transgender people.

The article actually mentions that if you read all the way to the bottom:

It’s important to note that this was the first time that the UCSD/Tulane study tracked responses for non-binary and trans people.

So technically, it would not be accurate to say the study found that reports of violence against trans and non-binary people are “up,” because there is no data from the previous year for comparison.

“It’s important to note” that “technically, it would not be accurate …”

It wouldn’t be accurate “technically” or any other way. I’m not seeing the point of making an assertion in the lead paragraph that you know to be false and then following it up with an acknowledgement that the assertion is false.

As far as the claim in the headline, it’s an unlikely claim for which no plausible explanation is offered, so I’ll offer one. First, I have to share something I learned in Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

A study of new diagnoses of kidney cancer in the 3,141 counties of the United States reveals that the counties in which the incidence of kidney cancer are lowest are mostly rural, sparsely populated, and located in traditionally Republican states in the Midwest, the South and the West.

What do you make of this?

Now consider the counties in which the incidence of kidney cancer is highest. These counties tend to be mostly rural, sparsely populated, and located in traditionally Republican states in the Midwest, the South and the West.

The key factor is “sparsely populated.”

Most people know The Law of Large Numbers but there’s also a Law of Small Numbers, which says that small samples yield extreme results more often than large samples. Basically the Law of Large Numbers restated in reverse.

The survey sample was 98% cisgender and 2% transgender.

I don’t know if the Law of Small Numbers explains the claim in the headline, but since no other explanation was offered, I offered one.

It should be obvious to anyone paying attention that disproportionate violence toward trans people is a phony claim. Riley Gaines gives a talk at a college campus, after which she’s attacked by a trans mob and has to barricade herself in a room for her own safety. Matt Walsh has security personnel actually living in his house.

I’ve never seen or heard about Lia Thomas, for example, being physically attacked by anyone. Or Dylan Mulvaney. Or Caitlyn Jenner. They all move about freely while Riley Gaines needs police protection to appear in public. Almost every news item I see with an intersection of trans people and violence involves an angry trans mob, not a violent attack on a trans person.

The article concludes by saying “that a nationwide trend of violence against trans people is also impacting the state of California.”

The link, which is in the original article, goes to an article with the headline Report says at least 32 transgender people were killed in the U.S. in 2022.

Is 32 a lot? It doesn’t seem like a lot. Is there really “a nationwide trend of violence” against trans people? We’ve got to do some more math.

According to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, an estimated 1.4 million adults in the United States identify as transgender. This represents 0.6% of the adult U.S. population. So 32 murders among 0.6% of the adult population would project to 5,333 murders for 100% of the adult population.

That is nowhere close to the actual number. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, there were 24,985 murders in the United States in 2022. Of these, 19,240 were murders of people aged 18 and over.

So no evidence of “a nationwide trend of violence.”

I would think that making assertions based on false statements and phony math would hurt you more than help you, but people are going to believe what they want to believe anyway. True statements about trans people are easily dismissed by calling people who make them hateful, transphobic, dangerous and far-right.

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