U.S. Trans Survey and methodological flaws, or “garbage in, garbage out”

Originally posted at Sex Not Gender

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) has launched a campaign to gather information about trans identified people called the U.S. Trans Survey. The intent may be noble, but the data collection methods leave much to be desired. Here is some background on the project from its organizers (emphasis added):

[The U.S. Trans Survey] is the follow up to the groundbreaking National Transgender Discrimination Survey, which was conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National LGBTQ Task Force in 2009, and examined the lives of over 6,400 trans people in the U.S. The results were released in a 2011 report called Injustice At Every Turn. As the single-most cited study about trans people, it has changed how the public understands the challenges facing our community.

That last sentence is the crux of what bothers me. An internet based questionnaire is the single-most cited “study” about trans people? Are you serious? In what world is an anonymous survey with no sample validity considered the primary or best evidence by which “the public understands the challenges” faced by any group of people? Look, I’m no statistician but I did take Stats 101 in college. Even I can tell this “study” has holes the size of the Grand Canyon.

Continue reading…

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