Milo Yiannopoulos On Transgender Sex Assault

Not too long ago Milo once again courted controversy with his appearance on the Bill Maher show where he defended bills that ban transgender people with using the bathroom they identify with. Though the internet went into a firestorm over the incendiary comments, Milo insisted it was not a “controversial statistic.” As such, we thought the statistic required greater scrutiny then perhaps what the Huffington Post, for example, might be inclined to offer.

The statement is only true if phrased as “transgender students are involved in sexual assault crimes more than their binary counterparts.” The only issue for the Milo statement, is that they are more likely to be the victims rather than the assailants.

If we can trust the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health’s 2017 study that analyzed “3,600 trans and nonbinary youth in grades 7 through 12. Researchers found that 26.5% of transgender boys, 18.5% of transgender girls, and 17.6% of nonbinary teens assigned male at birth reported having been sexually assaulted in the last year.”

Unfortunately, things are seldom this clean. Sexual assaults happening to youth’s require discretion on behalf of the judicial process (for obvious reasons). Unfortunately that means that all of the data from the study, including a similar clinical study that was more ambitious in their claims, were reliant on self report. This causes potential trouble when the opposition to transgender identification and the advance of transgender rights is based on a lack of trust with those self reporting as transgender.

We say this to clarify that although the study is sound in terms of question formation and methodology, it may be another point that will only further reverberate in the echo chambers of ideologies on the left and right. For what’s it worth, the 2019 clinical study did make the claim that “Transgender and gender nonbinary adolescents experience high rates of peer victimization, but the prevalence of sexual assault in this population has not been established.” This would seem to invalidate both MIlo’s claim and Huffington Post’s attempt to emphatically debunk the claim.

Should we become aware that Milo has changed his opinion or should new evidence be submitted that we have either misconstrued his opinion or failed to include important statements from him, we will 1) make the correction, 2) note the correction here, 3) issue a mea culpa that attempts to explain and improve on how we missed this.

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