EXCLUSIVE: OxMatch accused of homophobia

Students and the LGBTQ+ Society have come out criticising the latest OxMatch survey

CW: Homophobia

The popular student-run matchmaking platform, OxMatch, has come under attack for homophobia after a group of students have come out calling out one of the questions for homophobia.

This question, Question 40 from the OxMatch questionnaire, reads, “I would be okay if my children were gay”. It asks participants to rank their answer from a scale of 1-5,  1 being ‘Strongly disagree’, 5 being ‘Strongly agree’. 

The original student who raised his concerns, stated, “[OxMatch is] out here acting like disowning your queer children is an acceptable opinion to hold…The number of queer [people], especially those closeted, that will read this and be reminded once again they live in a society where many parents make their kids homeless for being gay is heart-breaking. LGBTQ+ people make up around 1/4 of homeless youth in the UK.”

Students also called for boycotting the matchmaking service completely as not only does the service “normalise homophobia”, but the same platform was also received scrutiny over its privacy policies last term.

Oxford University LGBTQ+ Society said in a statement posted to their Facebook page, “We have recently been made aware of the inclusion of an inappropriate and upsetting question in the latest OxMatch Questionnaire. We have made contact with the creators of OxMatch urging them to remove this question, and in the meantime wish to extend our welfare support to those who have been adversely impacted by this issue.”

A spokesperson for OxMatch told The Tab Oxford, “The specific question was put in due to previous complaints about individuals matching with those holding homophobic views. The question was designed to filter out homophobic individuals. We have not received a single complaint about this question despite thousands of students doing the survey. The same question was used in other non-affiliated surveys that ran in Oxford and elsewhere before without complaints.

“We have always sought to make OxMatch as inclusive as possible and welcome any suggestions about how to do that.”

The LGBTQ+ Society has also offered support via their Welfare Officers or the Switchboard LGBTQ+ helpline here: https://switchboard.lgbt/.