BBC News Website, 26 October 2021

Summary of complaint

We received complaints that the article 'We're being pressured into sex by some trans women' is transphobic and poorly evidenced.


Our response

Thank you for getting in touch. We have received a wide range of feedback from those who find the article challenging as well as those who welcome its publication.

The article was carefully considered before publication, went through a rigorous editorial review process and fully complies with the BBC’s editorial guidelines and standards.

Some argue that the article is flawed because it is “based on a survey of 80 people”. The article itself states there is little research in this area; that the survey featured was conducted on social media and is therefore self-selecting; and even the author of the survey admits it may not be a representative sample. Furthermore, there is a link to the detail of the findings which enables the reader to make up their own minds about the replies the sample generated.

But the article is more than just the survey.

The journalist’s work involved months of speaking to many people about the topic and the article includes testimony from a range of different sources and provides appropriate context.

As a public service broadcaster we explore a wide range of issues and perspectives. And we believe it deals with a matter worthy of investigation. We have a strong commitment to impartiality, which means we constantly consider and evaluate which stories to cover and how. Impartiality is fundamental, and includes covering stories on any point of the spectrum of debate. And stories should be seen not just individually, but in the broader context of our wider coverage.

The piece has prompted many complaints and many appreciations and we will consider all feedback carefully.