Information

Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill: equality impact assessment

The equality impact assessment (EQIA) for the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill.


Stage 2: Data and evidence gathering, involvement and consultation

There is limited evidence about the numbers of trans people in Scotland and their experiences.

Characteristic

Evidence gathered andStrength/quality of evidence

Source

Data gaps identified and steps taken

Age

1. The draft Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment sets out the evidence gathered in relation to people under 18.

2. In 2005/06, 1,181 full GRCs were granted across the UK (there was pent up demand for legal gender recognition in the early period after the GRP was established). Of these, 348 (29%) were issued to people aged 56 and over (born up to 1948). The number of GRCs issued began to plateau in 2007/2008 with 392 people were issued with full GRCs. Of these, 67 (17%) were aged 58 and over.[10] The latest available data shows that, in 2020/21, 427 people were issued with full GRCs, with 82 (19%) issued to people aged 60 and over.

3. A report about the mental health and wellbeing of trans people reported that of the 889 trans people surveyed in 2012, the average age at which participants began living part-time in their felt gender was 23 (based on 487 who answered the question). Of those who had lived permanently or occasionally as a gender different to the sex assigned at birth, the average age at which they began living part-time in their gender was 23 and the average age they began living full-time was 31 (based on 545 people answering the question).[11] This was a self-selecting sample, with the survey distributed primarily through word-of-mouth and through a number of trans groups over a three month period between mid-April 2012 and mid-July 2012.

4. A report published by the Scottish Public Health Network in 2017 reported that the average age of referral to Scottish Gender Identity Clinics was 26 years in adults and 14 years for young people.

5. A small-scale qualitative study (life-story interviews) with 6 older trans people in Sweden (aged 62-78) highlighted some additional age-related difficulties that older trans people might experience with transitioning. Participants reported encountering attitudes questioning the value of transitioning later in life, that physical aging can make presenting in the acquired gender harder in some ways and fears about the amount of choice and control they may have over future care.

6. A number of respondents to the 2019 consultation who were broadly opposed to the statutory declaration-based system highlighted the magnitude of a legal gender change, particularly for young people, and noted that the teenage years can be difficult and that hormonal and physical changes during puberty can lead some to feel uncomfortable with their bodies. A small number of respondents described their own unhappiness as gender non-conforming teenagers, arguing that they might well have chosen to transition had the option been open to them, but are now sure they would have regretted such a decision. Some respondents referred to evidence to support their position, including a review of evidence on the development of cognitive and emotional maturity in adolescents carried out for the Scottish Sentencing Council and associated proposal that sentencing young people should take into account that the brain does not mature until 25.

7. Some respondents to the 2019 consultation who were broadly in support identified potential benefits for older people who have been living in their acquired gender for a longer period and may not have access to the evidence required to apply to the GRP, and those who are nearly the end of their life who would be able to ensure that their gender is correctly recorded on their death certificate.

1. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/Recent

2. Tribunal Statistics Quarterly: April to June 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

3. Trans Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Study 2012, Jay McNeil, Louis Bailey, Sonja Ellis, James Morton & Maeve Regan.

4. The Scottish Public Health Network Report on the Health Care Needs Assessment of Gender Identity Services

5. A. Siverskog, 2015. Ageing Bodies that Matter: Age, Gender and Embodiment in Older Transgender People's Life Stories. NORA: Nordic Journal of Women's Studies, 23(1): 4-19.

6. and 7. Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill: consultation analysis - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

The following evidence gaps have been identified:

  • Whilst the Tribunals and Gender Recognition statistics show the number of GRCs issued disaggregated by year of birth, there are no available age-disaggregated published figures for Scotland only.
  • More up-to-date research on the mental health and wellbeing of younger trans people would be beneficial.
  • Whilst the in-depth research carried by Siverskog in Sweden adds to understanding of older people's experiences of transitioning, this is a small-scale study and it is unclear the extent to which the findings are representative of experiences in Scotland.

Scotland's Census 2022 will include a voluntary question asking whether individuals consider themselves to be trans or have a trans history. This data will allow for up-to-date estimation of the proportion of the Scottish population who identify as trans.[12] Date of birth will also gathered in the Census 2022, which could allow for disaggregation of trans status by age (subject to sufficient sample sizes to enable robust analysis).

Disability

1. In a self-selecting survey of 889 trans people carried out in 2012, over half (58%) (of the self-selecting sample) indicated that they had a disability or chronic health condition and 10% reported that their current work situation was 'permanently/long-term sick or disabled'.[13] Having a long-term disability was identified as an indirect reason for self-harming among some respondents.

Note that respondents were not asked whether their condition limited their day-to-day activities so it is not possible to determine what proportion of respondents were disabled under the Equality Act 2010 definition.

2. In the UK Government LGBT Survey carried out in 2017, a third (33%) of the 108,100 respondents indicated that they had a disability, whereas 14% of non-trans respondents said they did.[14] This is a large-scale online survey of people aged 16 and above living in the UK who self-identified as having a minority sexual orientation or gender identity. The sample was self-selected, and participants had to be willing to self-identity. This may mean that the findings are not representative of the trans population as whole. It also means that it is not possible to make direct comparisons with the general population.

3. In the survey mentioned at 1 above, 36% identified that they had a mental health issue. 88% (of 549 who answered the question) had been diagnosed with depression or considered they were or had been depressed and 48% (of 483) had attempted suicide at least once. The research did not gather data from non-trans people for comparison.

4. Evidence carried out in Mexico City with 250 trans adults indicates that the mental health issues experienced by trans people are related to the prejudice and discrimination they experience. More than three-quarters of the participants reported experiencing social rejection related to their gender, most commonly from family members (84% of those who experienced rejection), followed by schoolmates or coworkers (55%) and friends (28%). The most common forms of rejection were discrimination (32%) and verbal or physical aggression (17%).[15]

5. Evidence indicates that transitioning to the gender with which the person identifies helps resolve distress and mental health issues.[16]

6. The Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), commissioned by NHS England, has some information on its

evidence base of a higher prevalence of autistic spectrum conditions in clinically referred gender dysphoric (GD) adolescents than in the general adolescent population.[17] This clinical observation is also reiterated in the wider international literature.

7. A 2016 peer-reviewed literature review carried out by academics at the Nottingham Centre for Gender Dyphoria concluded that 'Although the research is limited, especially for adults, there is an increasing amount of evidence that suggests a co-occurrence between gender dysphoria and ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder]' and that there is 'a high prevalence of ASD in people with gender dysphoria attending clinical services'.[18]

8. A subsequently published study found that 'autistic traits appear to be more prevalent in transgender people assigned female at birth, but not in those assigned male at birth'.[19] No significant difference in autistic spectrum quotient (AQ) scores was found overall between the non-trans and trans groups, nor between groups for those assigned male at birth (non-trans men and trans women).

9. Some respondents to the 2019 consultation who were broadly opposed to a statutory declaration-based system raised concerns regarding the impact on provision for disabled people in an increased user base of unisex disabled facilities (e.g. changing rooms and public toilets).[20]

10. Among respondents to the 2019 consultation who were broadly in support of a statutory declaration-based system, some suggested that: "while the mental health inequalities faced by the trans population are not solely related to legal gender recognition, being able to access this without being subject to a distressing, humiliating process should boost wellbeing."[21]

11. Among the respondents to the 2020 who were broadly opposed to a statutory declaration-based system, some raised concerns about trans people regretting transitioning and the social changes they had made, and noted that this could contribute to an elevated suicide risk.[22]

12. Some respondents to the 2019 consultation questioned the relevance of the data the prevalence of autistic spectrum conditions within the trans population, with weak conclusions being drawn from a lack of evidence.

1 and 3. Trans Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Study 2012, Jay McNeil, Louis Bailey, Sonja Ellis, James Morton & Maeve Regan.

2. UK Government LGBT Survey Research Report July 2018

4. Removing transgender identity from the classification of mental disorders: a Mexican field study for ICD-11 - The Lancet Psychiatry

5. Dhejne C, et al "Mental Health and gender dysphoria: A review of the literature" (2016) International Review of Psychiatry 28(1)

6. Information collated by the Gender Identity Development Service England.

7. Glidden, D., Bouman, W., Jones, B. & Arcelus, J., 2016. Gender dysphoria and autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review of the literature. Sexual Medicine Reviews, 4(1), 3-14.

8. Nobili, A., Glazebrook, C., Bouman, W., Glidden, D., Baron-Cohen, S., Allison, C., Smith, P. & Arcelus, J., 2018. Autistic Traits in Treatment-Seeking Transgender Adults. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48: 3984-3994

9., 10., 11. & 12. Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill: consultation analysis - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

In order to safeguard against the possibility of discrimination against disabled people, the Scottish Government has considered how notaries public and justices of the peace can check whether a person making a statutory declaration knows and understands what they are doing.

The consultation outlines guidance available to notaries public and justices of the peace on this type of issue.

Scotland's Census 2022 will include a voluntary question asking whether individuals consider themselves to be trans or have a trans history.[23] This data will allow for up-to-date estimation of the proportion of the Scottish population who identify as trans. Data on disability will also gathered in the Census 2022, which could allow for disaggregation of trans status by disability (subject to sufficient sample sizes to enable robust analysis).

Whilst there is some evidence to suggest that there may be a link between gender dysphoria and autism, there is an absence of evidence on co-morbidities and on the reasons for this link.

Studies to date have focused on prevalence rates and primarily with those who have been referred to a gender identity clinic. We are not aware of any studies discussing the influence of ASD diagnoses on treatment outcomes for gender dysphoria.[24]

Gender Reassignment

1. Information held by NRS shows that around 30 people a year from Scotland obtain full GRCs.

2. The average number of full GRCs issued annually across the UK since the 2004 Act was implemented is 376, with a peak of 1,179 issued in 2005/06.[25] Up to the end of 2020/21, the Gender Recognition Panel had issued 6,010 full GRCs.

3. As of May 2018, around 0.5% of the Scottish population (24,000 people) were estimated to be trans. The Scottish Public Health Network Report on the Health Care Needs Assessment of Gender Identity Services suggests that 0.5% is the most often quoted likely prevalence of trans people.[26] Further data would be required to confirm whether this figure is still accurate in 2022.

4. Of the 1,160 self-selected trans people from Scotland who responded to the UK National LGBT Survey in 2017, 3.7% said that they had a GRC.[27] However this proportion also includes non-binary respondents who may be less likely to apply for a GRC. The methodology used means respondents are drawn from non-representative sample of LGBT people across the UK, and therefore it is not possible to generalise these findings to the Scottish trans population as a whole.

5. The UK LGBT Survey also asked trans people who had not applied for a GRC why they had not done so. The most common reasons that trans women in Scotland gave for having not applied for a GRC were the process being too bureaucratic (48%), not meeting the requirements (35%) and the cost of the application (33%). 10% said that they didn't have the time, 11% said that they didn't want to share their medical information, and 5% said that it was difficult to access their medical records.

For trans men, not meeting the requirements was the most common reason for not applying for a GRC (51%), followed by the application cost (37%) and the process being too bureaucratic (33%). 12% said that they didn't have the time, 7% said that they didn't want to share their medical information, and 6% said that it was difficult to access their medical records.

The differences between men and women may partly be explained by the different age profiles of the respondents, with trans men respondents being younger and fewer having completed transitioning.

6. A small-scale qualitative study which conducted in-depth interviews with 28 trans individuals living in Scotland in 2012-2014 found that the complex bureaucratic nature of the current GRC application process meant that most of the research participants 'who intended to permanently transition, whether through medical procedures or not, chose to rather change their name officially by deed poll or statutory declaration, legally allowed for anyone in the UK.'

7. In Ireland, 3 people out of the 579[28] who have obtained a GRC asked for it to be revoked (because they no longer wished to be recognised in an acquired gender). This is 0.5%.

8. In a survey of 889 trans people in 2011, in discussing the physical changes which they had undergone in relation to being trans or transitioning, 86% had no regrets, with 10% having minor regrets and 2% having major regrets. In terms of social changes that they had made in relation to being trans or transitioning, 53% (of 523) had no regrets. 34% had minimal regrets, and 9% had significant regrets.[29]

9. A Swedish study published in 2014 examined the outcomes of applications in Sweden for legal and surgical sex reassignment[30] between 1960 and 2010. This indicated that out of the 681 people who changed their sex legally and surgically, 2.2% of them later regretted this and sought to reverse their decision. The study reported a significant decline in regrets over the time period.

10. A web-based survey conducted in Sweden in 2014 using an anonymous, self-selected sample of 796 trans individuals aged 15-94 found a correlation between trans people not having gender recognition and poorer reported quality of life.

Both wanting to change legal gender and having changed legal gender were also correlated with poor self-rated health, although the association was smaller among those who had changed legal gender. The authors conclude that: 'These results suggest that … increased access to legal gender recognition could improve the overall health and quality of life of trans people in Sweden.'

11. There is some evidence regarding numbers of applicants for legal gender recognition from countries which have adopted self-declaration systems. In Denmark (pop. 5.8 million),[31] on average 220 people per year obtained legal gender recognition. In Norway (pop. 5.3 million),[32] where a self-declaration system for legal gender recognition was adopted in 2016,1560 applications were received up to the end of the first quartile of 2019, at an average of around 550 applications a year.

1. National Records of Scotland

2. Tribunals and Gender Recognition Statistics (Ministry of Justice)

3. The Scottish Public Health Network Report on the Health Care Needs Assessment of Gender Identity Services

4. Government Equalities Office, National LGBT Survey (2017)

5. Government Equalities Office, National LGBT Survey (2017)

6. S. Morgan, 2017. Constructing Identities, Reclaiming Subjectivities,

Reconstructing Selves: An Interpretative Study of Transgender Practices in

Scotland. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

7. Information provided by the Government of Ireland.

8. Trans Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Study 2012, Jay McNeil, Louis Bailey, Sonja Ellis, James Morton & Maeve Regan

9. Dhejne, Cecilia et al (2014). "An Analysis of All Applications for Sex Reassignment Surgery in Sweden, 1960-2010: Prevalence, Incidence, and Regrets", Archives of sexual behavior. 43

10. Zeluf G. et al., 2016. Health, disability and quality of life among trans people in Sweden: A web-based survey. BMC Public Health, 16(1): 1-15.

11. Source is Danish Ministry of Social Security and the Interior, and Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care.

Countries that have adopted systems for legal gender recognition based on an applicant's declaration have done so from 2012 onwards. The Scottish Government is not aware of substantive evidence that obtaining legal gender recognition overseas through such a process leads to adverse consequences generally for society.

Scotland's Census 2022 will include a voluntary question asking whether individuals consider themselves to be trans or have a trans history.[33] This data will allow for up-to-date estimation of the proportion of the Scottish population who identify as trans. In addition, the Scottish Government published guidance on the collection and publication of data on sex, gender identity and trans status in September 2021.[34] Going forward, use of the trans status question could provide valuable sources of evidence on the trans population.

Some respondents to the 2019 consultation raised concerns that the proposed changes could lead to regret, especially among younger and vulnerable adults. Some anecdotal evidence of detransitioning were cited. We are not aware of any robust research that has considered the likelihood of detransitioning or regret in Scotland.

Marriage and Civil Partnership

(the Scottish Government does not require assessment against this protected characteristic unless the policy or practice relates to work, for example HR policies and practices)

1. In 2020/21, the GRP granted 33 full GRCs to married applicants (7%) across the UK. This compares to 394 among single people.[35]

2. Between 2010/11 and 2017/18, there were nine divorces in Scotland and two dissolutions of civil partnerships on the ground that an interim GRC had been issued to one of the parties to the marriage.

1. Tribunals and Gender Recognition Statistics (Ministry of Justice).

2. Scottish Government Civil Justice Statistics.

Scotland's Census 2022 will include a voluntary question asking whether individuals consider themselves to be trans or have a trans history. This data will allow for up-to-date estimation of the proportion of the Scottish population who identify as trans. Data on marriage and civil partnership will also gathered in the Census 2022, which could allow for disaggregation of trans status by marriage and civil partnership (subject to sufficient sample sizes to enable robust analysis).

Pregnancy and Maternity

1. Some respondents to the 2019 consultation who were broadly opposed to the statutory declaration-based system expressed concerns about trans people keeping their wombs and declaring themselves to be 'pregnant men'. They suggested that this could lead to discrimination against pregnant women and mothers, and expressed concern that this may contribute to public sector bodies in Scotland changing their language to refer to 'pregnant people'.[36]

2. Some respondents to the 2019 consultation also drew attention to the recent research carried out into trans healthcare and reproductive health.

1 & 2. Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill: consultation analysis - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

-

Race

1. Of the 1,160 self-selected trans people from Scotland who responded to the UK LGBT Survey in 2017, 93.8% said that they were White.[37] 1.1% preferred not to say, and the remaining 5.1% identified as belonging to a minority ethnicity.

The methodology used means respondents are drawn from non-representative sample of LGBT people across the UK, and therefore it is not possible to generalise these findings to the Scottish trans population as a whole.

In particular, respondents were typically younger than the general population and may not have been sampled proportionately across local authorities. Within the Scottish general population younger age groups are more ethnically diverse, and the proportion of minority ethnic people differs between local authorities.

2. There were limited comments in relation to race in the 2019 consultation. Some respondents highlighted that a requirement to be 'ordinarily resident' in order to apply for legal gender recognition and the potential impact in the context of race.

1. Government Equalities Office, National LGBT Survey (2017)

2. Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill: consultation analysis - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

There is no statistical evidence published about the ethnicity of people who are issued with a full GRC under the GRA.

We are not aware of any evidence that specifically explores the lived experiences of minority ethnic trans people in Scotland.

Scotland's Census 2022 will include a voluntary question asking whether individuals consider themselves to be trans or have a trans history.[38] This data will allow for up-to-date estimation of the proportion of the Scottish population who identify as trans. Data on ethnicity will also gathered in the Census 2022, which could allow for disaggregation of trans status by ethnicity (subject to sufficient sample sizes to enable robust analysis).

Religion or Belief

1. Of the 1,160 self-selected trans people from Scotland who responded to the UK National LGBT Survey in 2017, two thirds (70%) said that they had no religion or belief.[39] 11% identified as Christian. 9% preferred not to say.

The methodology used means respondents are drawn from non-representative sample of LGBT people across the UK, and therefore it is not possible to generalise these findings to the Scottish trans population as a whole.

In particular, respondents were typically younger than the general population and may not have been sampled proportionately across local authorities. Within the Scottish general population a higher proportion within younger age groups belong to no religion, and the

proportion of the population belonging to different religions varies between local authorities.

2. A number of respondents to the 2017 consultation noted that the proposed changes to the system for obtaining legal gender recognition could impact on women whose religion or belief prevented them from sharing spaces with men. Use of public toilets, changing rooms and refuges and participation in sport were given as examples.[40]

On this point, and as outlined in more detail in Chapter 5 of the consultation and later on in this EQIA, there are a number of exceptions in the Equality Act 2010 which allow trans people to be excluded in specified circumstances when this is proportionate and to achieve a legitimate aim.

3. Some respondents to the 2017 consultation noted that gender reassignment may be contrary to religious beliefs held by some. This view was also given by some respondents to the 2019 consultation who were broadly opposed to a statutory declaration-based system, who highlighted potential impacts on:

  • Religious gatherings, meetings, trips and holidays that currently segregate on the basis of sex.
  • Ministers of religion and administration of religious services and/or rites.
  • The efficacy of existing religious exemptions.

The Scottish Government appreciates that some religious bodies may be opposed to the concept of legal gender recognition.

However, as outlined in the consultations, the Scottish Government considers that a gender recognition system is required in Scotland for both policy reasons and to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Other religious or belief bodies may, of course, support the concept of legal gender recognition. For example, Humanist Society Scotland reports that a self-declaration process is in line with Humanist principles.[41]

As outlined in Chapter 5 of the consultation, and later on in this EQIA, there are exceptions in the Equality Act 2010 which allow trans people to be excluded from certain forms of religious employment and also allow an approved celebrant to refuse to solemnise the marriage, or register the civil partnership, of a person that the celebrant reasonably believes acquired their gender under the GRA.

1. Government Equalities Office, National LGBT Survey (2017)

2 Review of the Gender Recognition Act 2004: consultation analysis - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

3. Review of the Gender Recognition Act 2004: consultation analysis - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

and

Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill: consultation analysis - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Scotland's Census 2022 will include a voluntary question asking whether individuals consider themselves to be trans or have a trans history.[42] This data will allow for up-to-date estimation of the proportion of the Scottish population who are trans. Data on religion will also gathered in the Census 2022, which could allow for disaggregation of trans status by religion (subject to sufficient sample sizes to enable robust analysis).

Sex

1. A higher proportion of people legally recognised in the UK in their acquired gender under the 2004 Act are trans women (man to woman) than trans men.

2. The proportion of trans men (woman to man) being legally recognised under the GRA has increased over time.

3. In 2005/06, 1,181 full GRCs were granted (there was pent up demand for legal gender recognition in the early period after the GRP was established). Of these, 911 (77%) were granted to trans women and 268 (23%) to trans men.

4. The numbers of GRCs granted began to plateau in 2007/08, during which there were 391 full GRCs granted. Of these, 299 (76%) were granted to trans women and 92 (24%) to trans men.

5. The latest available data shows that, in 2020/21, 427 full GRCs were granted. Of these, 256 (60%) were to trans women and 171 (40%) to trans men.[43]

6. The position in the UK similarly reflects the apparent position in other countries that there are more trans women than trans men.[44]

7. In Ireland, of the 517 people who have been recognised between September 2015 and August 2019, 233 (41%) were trans men (recorded as female at birth).

8. A number of respondents to the 2017 and 2019 consultations raised concerns about the implications of legal gender recognition on the safety and wellbeing of women and girls. Some responses referred to their own experiences or media reports.

Concerns included:

  • access to women's safe spaces;
  • risk of abuse;
  • a perceived erosion of the rights of women;
  • women's sports,
  • intimate medical care;
  • the accuracy of statistical information in areas such as crime recording or equality monitoring;
  • freedom of speech.

On these points, Chapter 5 of the consultation, and this EQIA (later on) outline exceptions in the Equality Act 2010 which can be used in specified circumstances, when it is proportionate and to achieve a legitimate aim, to exclude trans people from single sex services and to exclude trans women from sporting competitions for women. There are also exceptions which can be used in relation to occupational requirements.

These exceptions will remain in place after reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

On freedom of speech, the Scottish Government is fully committed to this and there are provisions in the European Convention on Human Rights to protect freedom of speech.

9. There is a lack of any evidence around the actual experienced impacts of trans inclusion in services.

Much of the literature identified does not justify a blanket exclusion of trans women from services or spaces (they themselves are a vulnerable group), but rather highlights the need for individual assessments and tailoring the service for each individual's needs, where they are also likely to encompass a wide variety of things unrelated to an individual's sex or gender identity.

Some respondents to the 2019 consultation disputed the Scottish Government's findings in relation to the available evidence, and the conclusions drawn.

10. The Scottish Government has not identified any evidence at this time supporting the claim that trans women are more likely than non-trans women to sexually assault other women in women-only spaces. Much of the literature reiterates this lack of any evidence, legal, medical or otherwise, to support this characterisation of trans women as 'deviant' or predatory.[45]

In addition to concerns about the inclusion of trans women in women-only spaces and services, some respondents expressed concerns that predatory men posing as trans women would seek to gain access to women only spaces and services for malicious reasons.

1. to 5. Tribunals and Gender Recognition Statistics (Ministry of Justice).

6. See the evidence from 19 countries set out in Meier S.C., Labuski C.M. (2013) The Demographics of the Transgender Population. In: Baumle A. (eds) International Handbook on the Demography of Sexuality. International Handbooks of Population, vol 5. Springer, Dordrecht.

7. Information provided by the Government of Ireland.

8. Review of the Gender Recognition Act 2004: consultation analysis - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

And

Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill: consultation analysis - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

9. Gottschalk, L., 2009. Transgendering women's space: A feminist analysis of perspectives from Australian women's services. Women's Studies International Forum, 32(3): 167-178.

10. Dunne, P., 2017. (Trans)forming single gender services and communal accommodations. Social and Legal Studies, 26(5).

Eckes, S., 2017. The restroom and locker room wars: Where to pee or not to pee. Journal of LGBT Youth, 14(3): 247-265.

The Scottish Government has not identified any evidence supporting a link between women-only spaces being inclusive of transgender women, and non-trans men falsely claiming a trans identity to access these spaces and committing sexual violence. Other sources identified reiterated that there is a lack of any evidence to support this claim.

Scotland's Census 2022 will include a voluntary question asking whether individuals consider themselves to be trans or have a trans history.[46] This data will allow for up-to-date estimation of the proportion of the Scottish population who identify as trans. Data on sex will also gathered in the Census 2022, which could allow for disaggregation of trans status by sex (subject to sufficient sample sizes to enable robust analysis).

The Scottish Government established the Sex and Gender in Data Working Group which met between 2019 and 2021.[47] The working group published its guidance for public bodies on the collection of data on sex, gender identity and trans status in September 2021.[48]

In line with good practice the Scottish Government will keep this EQIA under review, and will consider any emerging evidence, both positive and negative in relation to this characteristic.

Sexual Orientation

1. Of the 1,160 self-selected trans people from Scotland who responded to the UK LGBT Survey in 2017, around a third (32.1%) identified as bisexual.[49] A fifth (22%) said that they were gay or lesbian, 13.6% identified as pansexual, and 4.9% as queer. 10.4% said that they were heterosexual. 5.5% said that they did not know, or preferred not to say. The methodology used means respondents are drawn from non-representative sample of LGBT people across the UK, and therefore it is not possible to generalise these findings to the Scottish trans population as a whole.

2. Of the 530 self-selected respondents to the 2012 Scottish Transgender Alliance survey who answered the question about sexual orientation, around a quarter identified as bisexual (27%) and another quarter identified as queer (24%). A fifth (20%) identified as straight or heterosexual.[50] Again, this was not a random sample and so findings cannot be assumed to be representative of the trans population as a whole.

3. Respondents to both the 2017 and 2019 consultations made a number of comments in this area, including suggestions that:

  • gender non-conforming children are being encouraged to transition when they would otherwise grow up to be lesbian or gay;
  • gay and lesbian people are coming under increasing social pressure to change their gender rather than to live as gay or lesbian;
  • lesbians may be accused of transphobia if they refuse to enter sexual relationships with trans women;
  • when lesbian organisations or advocacy groups are joined by trans women, trans issues often take priority.

On children, the Scottish Government has concluded that legal gender recognition should not be available to those under 16.

On lesbian and gay people, the Scottish Government considers that people should be able to live as lesbian and gay. This Government promoted the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 through Parliament. A key reason for promoting that legislation was to make it clear that same sex relationships have the same standing in society as mixed sex relationships.

On relationships, Government does not lay down who a person should enter into a relationship with. That is a personal matter for the individuals concerned.

On organisations, the rules in the Equality Act 2010 on membership and access to a benefit, facility or service, do not apply to associations with under 25 members.[51] In addition, there is an exception which allows an association to restrict its membership to persons who share a single protected characteristic.[52]

1. Government Equalities Office, National LGBT Survey (2017)

2. Scottish Transgender Alliance, Trans Mental Health Study 2012.

3. Review of the Gender Recognition Act 2004: consultation analysis - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Scotland's Census 2022 will include a voluntary question asking whether individuals consider themselves to be trans or have a trans history.[53] This data will allow for up-to-date estimation of the proportion of the Scottish population who identify as trans. Data on sexual orientation will also gathered in the Census 2022, which could allow for disaggregation of trans status by sexual orientation (subject to sufficient sample sizes to enable robust analysis).

As noted above, in line with good practice the Scottish Government will keep this EQIA under review, and will consider any emerging evidence, both positive and negative in relation to this characteristic.

Contact

Email: GRunit@gov.scot

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