Transgender debate: Self-identification could distort crime statistics – Kenny MacAskill MP

I’m chairing a conference next week on sex in the criminal justice sector.

It’s unacceptable that men can identify as women and then seek to be detained in women’s prisons, says Kenny MacAskill (Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
It’s unacceptable that men can identify as women and then seek to be detained in women’s prisons, says Kenny MacAskill (Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Before folk start thinking I’m partaking in some orgy or pimping, I should explain it relates to issues such as keeping prisons single-sex and ensuring that crimes perpetrated by men aren’t recorded as being carried out by women.

There’s an issue in ensuring that transgender prisoners are suitably and safely incarcerated. But it’s unacceptable that men can identify as women and then seek to be detained in women’s prisons. It’s just not safe and serious assaults have been perpetrated by predators masquerading or rather self-identifying as women.

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More importantly many women in prison have been the victim of assaults or abuse by men and are deeply vulnerable. A man who self-identifies as a woman is still a man and can be frightening and damaging to them as they seek to recover.

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Likewise, it makes a complete nonsense of recording crime if self-ID is followed. It skews statistics and threatens not just research but solutions, if the data’s simply duff.

That’s the top end of the nonsense that we’re now facing as the Scottish government pursues its Gender Recognition Act reform agenda. But it’s percolating down into every strata of our society.

I saw last week that the word “mother” was to be removed from maternity guidance. Now it’s over 25 years since my mother passed away. Yet I still miss her and think of her often. She was pivotal in not just bringing me up but instilling values in me. She was a good and kindly soul.

But she was my Mum, Mummy when I was wee. She was never my birth parent or an adult human female that happened to give birth to me and whom I sat with in her final moments. I find that not just absurd but insulting to her memory. It’s Orwellian how science and reality are being distorted by an ideology.

If someone had suggested to me a decade ago that these things would be happening in Scotland, I’d have said they were insane. Now it is government policy but it’s tautological nonsense and dangerous.

Kenny MacAskill is Alba Party MP for East Lothian

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