Only 3% of female students at Ryerson approve of the Ford government: poll

71% of female students disapprove of the job the provincial governmental lead by Doug Ford is doing and abortion rights and sex education are amongst their concerns

(Canadian Press)

By Tess Stuber unpublished class assignment

71 per cent of Ryerson students who identify as female disapprove of the job the provincial government is doing, according to a recent poll conducted by Ryerson School of Journalism students between March 1-4.

Of the people who identified as female, when asked, “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job the provincial government led by Doug Ford is doing?,” 71 per cent disapprove, three per cent approve, and 25 per cent neither approve nor disapprove. (Numbers have been rounded down to whole numbers.)

Of the people who identified as male, 54 per cent disapprove, nine per cent approve, and 35 per cent neither approve nor disapprove. (Numbers have been rounded down to whole numbers.)

(RSJ/Tess Stuber)

First-year Ryerson School of Journalism students surveyed 1,179 Ryerson University students in person and online between March 1-4, 2019.

First-year social work student Taylor Rogers said that the Doug Ford government has been “absolute garbage.”

Rogers said she highly values gender equality and isn’t seeing that in the current government.

“He’s a white male, who thinks he’s superior and he’s a higher class, so I think he’s utilizing that to dismiss women,” Rogers said.

She said that Ford’s pro-life ideologies are bad for women and promote inequality by taking away their ability to choose whether they have children.

As reported by the Toronto Star, Doug Ford questioned why teenagers need permission slips from parents for school trips but not to have an abortion.

The issue of abortion was also a concern for first-year sociology student Sissy King.

“I’m not for men having such a strong opinion about something that doesn’t affect them,” King said.

Emma Hoskins, a first-year undeclared arts student, quoted a common abortion rights advocate slogan, No Uterus, No Opinion, to explain her feelings on Doug Ford’s opposition to abortion.

“I find it ridiculous that you would make people be parents when they’re not ready to be parents,” she said.

Sex-Ed curriculum reversal

One of Doug Ford’s major policy changes since his election was the plan to reverse the Ontario sex-education curriculum to the 1998 curriculum. However, the ministry of education recently announced that the curriculum will not be entirely rolled back, according to reports from the CBC.

Instead, topics like gender-identity will not be discussed until grade 8 rather than grade 2.

King said that this is inherently conflictual with Ford’s pro-life views.

“If you’re pro-life and against abortions, then why are you taking away sex education?” she said.

Hoskin said, some people argue that sex-education encourages young people to become sexually active but she disagrees.

“It just makes it so people can do it safely and they’re knowledgeable about what they’re doing and how to be safe about it,” Hoskins said.

First-year creative industries student Brennan March is concerned about the poor sex education that his high school age sister will now receive.

“She’s not going to learn the proper sex-ed curriculum and I think it’s disgusting,” March said.

Lack of LGBT+ Sex-Ed

Of the 17 students polled that identify as non-binary or gender fluid, 76 per cent said they disapprove of the Ford government, five per cent said they approve, and 17 per cent said they neither approve or disapprove. Numbers have been rounded down to whole numbers. The margin of error for these numbers will be larger due to the small sample size.

The new sex education curriculum that was recently implemented does not include sex education for LGBTQ issues until grade 8, according to the CBC. This is a major concern for Leandra Budau, a first-year biomedical engineering student.

“It’s already an issue where they don’t have a whole lot of it in the sex education system, so I don’t love that they’re taking even more of it out,” Budau said. “I think that’s really unsafe.”

Budau said that as a queer person she can understand the disapproval of the Ford government among her community.

March said that as someone who identifies as bisexual he can understand the wide proportion of disapproval among marginalized people like women and the LGBT+ community.

March said that this delayed sex-education policy is only about the personal views of Doug Ford and the conservative government rather than the importance of educating the public.

Taking away anything that gives you knowledge is a bad idea,” March said.

Results for the full sample have a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, 19 times out of 20; it may be larger for subgroups.