Students’ union zealots demand philosophy society’s poll on whether there are only two genders is taken down over fears it will offend trans people
- Officials said student survey at Warwick University was ‘highly inappropriate’
- The student poll asked whether students thought there were just two genders
- It also asked the students whether there was a ‘spectrum’ for gender
Students’ union zealots have ordered an online poll about gender be taken down over fears it is offensive to trans people.
Officials said the survey by students at Warwick University was ‘highly inappropriate’ because gender issues were ‘not up for debate’.
The poll was set up by the university’s Politics, Philosophy and Law (PPL) society on its official Facebook page.
It asked whether students thought there were just two genders, or whether there was a ‘spectrum’.
The majority of those who responded said they thought gender was a binary choice between male and female. The PPL society said it had tried to make sure the question was phrased sensitively and that ‘no offence was intended’.
Students’ union zealots have ordered an online poll about gender be taken down over fears it is offensive to trans people. Main image shows Warwick University’s Central Campus
But the students’ union, which oversees all societies, forced the group to delete it and claimed the topic should not be debated because gender fluidity is a ‘scientific fact’.
It comes amid numerous incidents in which feminist activists and academics have faced backlashes for questioning the transgender lobby.
A spokesman for the society said: ‘We are surprised. Universities should be places for learning and discussion of all topics.
‘Free speech is a key part of the learning environment at any university and our student union’s stance would indicate an objection to that free speech. It has left us, among many others, disappointed.’
The poll, posted online before Christmas, asked: ‘Is gender binary, or is it a spectrum?’
It added: ‘Our aim is to create and provide a platform for academic and political discussions, no offence is intended. Derogatory comments will be deleted.’
The majority of those who responded said they thought gender was a binary choice between male and female. The PPL society said it had tried to make sure the question was phrased sensitively and that ‘no offence was intended’.Pictured, the transgender symbol
It is understood the union ordered the poll’s removal following complaints from Warwick Labour and Warwick Pride.
Warwick Pride president Jess Hughes told student paper The Boar: ‘We were very distressed when we saw the poll, as were members of the community.
‘Polls like this show a lack of understanding about gender, and it particularly concerns me that trans and non-binary students may well be on that [PPL] course and feel very uncomfortable about the opinions that their peers are voicing.’
The union said the poll was ‘offensive’ and pledged ‘to stand in solidarity with our trans siblings’.
A spokesman said: ‘What may seem like a mere question to some in fact perpetuates the systemic oppression of trans people. Some issues are simply not up for debate, including the identity, existence and lives of our trans students.’