Line of fire

Does fire spread? That seems like a strange question to ask, given that most of us probably have some anecdotal evidence that it does. But, as we’re often reminded, the plural of ‘anecdote’ isn’t ‘data’. Let’s look at some real data. In 2017 there were, in the UK, 399 fire fatalities, but by 2019 that number had fallen to 289, a fall of nearly 28%.

Surely, if fire does spread then it should keep on spreading. All should be consumed by fire. Is this not the case?

That’s the problem with data, it’s not responsible for the conclusions we draw from it.

Speaking of which, here’s notable trans activist, Jack Turban, MD.

Before we even look at the data in question, it’s perhaps worth pointing out that his tweet doesn’t quite cover the same ground as his research claims to:

The methodology for this study is simple; either 15 (according to Jack’s tweets) or 16 (according to his report) states collect information from youths about their sexuality and whether or not they identify as transgender. Jack’s study is comparing data for two of these years, 2017 and 2019,

The first finding that Jack tweets about is that the percentage of the sample identifying themselves as transgender fell from 2.4% in 2017 to 1.6% in 2019. This is, Jack claims, “arguing against ‘social contagion.'”

This is the “Does fire spread?” problem, using state-level data to draw conclusions about a phenomena that is, by its nature, localised. Indeed, we could turn Jack’s figures on their head and say that with an incidence rate of 1.6% it should be unusual to find friendship groups where more than one person comes out as trans. We do, of course, get clustering in statistical data, but if we were to see multiple groups of friends who come out within a short space of time from each other, against a low occurrence in the overall population, then that would be evidence for social contagion. It would be interesting, therefore, to cross reference these data against data from individual schools. Jack doesn’t do this.

Dr Turban’s next line of assault is against clinic reporting that they are seeing more female than male adolescents.

This, you will recall, was cited as the objective of the study, and appears in the results section of the available material (sorry, but I’m not paying $25 to read nonsense).

Again, this is statistical nonsense, akin to saying that Ferrari dealerships report that 90% of their customers are men, but that this is a very small sample group, and the much larger sample of the whole population shows that there are more women than men, so the dealerships must be wrong.

Dr Jack is so caught up in the ideology that he doesn’t see its central lie – that it’s the same for males and females; that the 16 year old girl considering an elective double mastectomy and the 50 year old man, dressed in fishnets and a red leather miniskirt, taking photos of himself masturbating in a ladies lavatory, are just different facets of the same wandering gendered soul phenomena. It’s only if you believe this can you make Jack’s underlying assumption that trans identifying males and females will visit gender clinics in the same proportions as they appear in the general population.

Further, if Jack’s conclusion is to be believed then what does that suggest about the gender clinics themselves? That they’re lying about receiving more female patients? That only those with more females report their numbers?

It’s also worth noting that the survey on which Jack’s work is based asks only for sex, and does not distinguish between natal and acquired sex, so there is an element of uncertainty about what trans-identifying youths reported as their sex, despite the large sample size.

In brief, then, this is a nonsense study, devised and conducted by somebody whose worldview relies upon believing that being trans is a fundamental and innate quality, such that identifying as trans cannot mean anything other than one is truly so. To shore up his own belief he has conducted a very poor quality study, which has errors that can be spotted from space.

However, looking at the quote-tweets of his announcement it seems that it’s already done what it was intended to do, which is please his like-minded audience and give them another stick with which to flail against reality.

2 thoughts on “Line of fire

  1. Whilst I appreciate that what I am about to say is completely anecdotal, I think it is am important observation. Growing up in liberal middle Endland through the 80’s and 90’s I knew of just one trans person, a family friend who, nearing middle-age, transitioned from male to female. Being honest, my opinion was always “bit odd, but you do you”. Now as a parent to two teens in fairly rural Canada I am witnessing at close quarters rapid change you are talking about. It started with a friend of my daughter coming out as FtM. Then my daughter came out as ‘pan’. I foolishly assumed that was just a new a fancy way of saying ‘bi-sexual’ but maybe attempted to step back and remove some of the fetishisation that the label can bring. Then she came out as trans. Given that she was already able to wear whatever clothes she likes and wear her hair however she chose, this really was only shunning her (admittedly slightly unusual/difficult) name for a new name and school changing her pro-nouns. At this point I am still like “OK whatevs” as it presented as more like a bleed through of her ‘cos-play’ activities. It was only when her new friends started coming round, and all of them are trans that I really believed what I already suspected. This group of lovely girls were all either nb or MtF. For most of them, again, it only seemed to be a new name, pronouns and maybe a subtle change of dress-sense. But underneath there was the self-harm, eating disorders, nearly all of them developed (then suddenly were cured from) Tourette’s at the same time. They seem to compare ‘where on the spectrum’ they all are. And they seem to be all same sex attracted (even having transitioned – they all claim to be ‘mlm’). I also can’t help but wonder (I ponder this as a straight woman who only knew ‘out’ gay women once I reached my late 20’s) if it has something to do with the fact that it still seems much more accepting in society to be a gay man than a lesbian.

    Anyhoo, I have a hard time accepting, that of the circa 1100 students at our local high school, there are now at a very minimum, 6 trans kids in one grade, and that this stat is nothing to do with social contagion. I am just one mum, at the coal face of this, so if I can see the pattern emerging how on earth can the likes of Dr Turban not.


  2. Sorry. I find it difficult to take any of this seriously. I was frightfully good at climbing trees, but never felt motivated to change Gender. Who in their right mind would?

    However, it worries me that most Trans Gender people do not appear to know that they will be Sterile, or the implications.. Or perhaps they don’t care. Actually, this might be quite a good idea. This could be the way in which Planet Earth could cut down on The Population Explosion, rather than another bloody War or some ridiculous Virus.

    Rest assured that Planet Earth knows what it is doing.


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