A British University has blocked an academic studying a reported surge in people regretting transgender surgery, claiming a “social media” backlash to the “politically incorrect” research could harm the institution.
Bath Spa University stopped Psychotherapist James Caspian from examining cases of people who had surgery to reverse a “gender reassignment” after finding they regretted the decision.
Mr. Caspian, 58, a councilor of 16 years who has specialized in and worked with transgender issues for years, slammed the institution for failing to respect “the most basic tenets of academic and intellectual freedom of inquiry”.
“The fundamental reason given was that it might cause criticism of the research on social media and criticism of the research would be criticism of the University and they also added it was better not to offend people,” he told BBC Radio 4.
Adding: “I was astonished at that decision. I think a University exists to encourage discussion, research, dissent even, challenging ideas that are out of date or not particularly useful.”
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He pointed out that studies of the percentage of people regretting “transitioning” their gender ranged from a couple of per cent to 20 per cent, and said new research was needed as attitudes changed and practitioners observed a rise in those reversing surgery.
The university initially approved his research, but after he proposed finding more participants online and sent his ideas to the ethics sub-committee for clearance, he was told: “engaging in a potentially politically incorrect piece of research carries a risk to the University”.
“Attacks on social media may not be confined to the researcher but may involve the university,” university authorities added, The Times reports. “The posting of unpleasant material on blogs or social media may be detrimental to the reputation of the university.”
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Opponents of transgender ideology have claimed the transgender lobby is aggressive and even violent in its attempts to promote transgenderism and silence criticism, and some feminist campaigners have been physically attacked by trans activists.
“It’s ridiculous. I’m in my late fifties, I’m an expert in my field and I’m not even on social media. I’m not frightened at all. Asking questions is not a hate crime,” Mr. Caspian complained.
Continuing: “Where would stand the reputation of a university that cannot follow the most basic tenets of academic and intellectual freedom of inquiry?”
Bath Spa University said it was unable to comment while Mr. Caspian’s complaint was being investigated.
So-called “gender identity clinics” in the UK have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people claiming to be transgendered in recent years, with referrals shooting up by several hundred per cent at some.
In 2015, the National Health Service increased its budget for “treating” the transgendered to £22.72 million a year, up from £17.13 million.