Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Dating website takes down offensive question after pressure from people with learning disabilities

OkCupidDating website OK Cupid has removed a question that is discriminatory to people with learning disabilities following protests from people with learning disabilities and charities.

As part of its matching service, OK Cupid’s questionnaire contained this question: ‘Would the world be a better place if people with low IQs were not allowed to reproduce?’ However, following pressure from Mencap – and a survey that found that the public were hostile to the question – the website has removed it.

Mencap first asked OK Cupid to remove the question in May 2016 but at the time the company refused, saying that its question system is designed to have mundane and provocative questions to help people determine potential compatibility and avoid those whose viewpoints they strongly disagree with.

Since then, Mencap has surveyed more than 1,000 adults from across the country and found that 75% of people thought the question was unacceptable, and 74% said OK Cupid should remove it from the website. In addition, 62% of people think that mainstream dating websites should be open and welcoming to people with a learning disability.

The charity had also been running a petition calling for OK Cupid to drop the question, as well as a hashtag, #NotOkCupid, on Twitter.

Helen and Darren Clark, a married couple with learning disabilities, both thought the question was offensive.

In an interview on the Mencap website, Darren said: “I think OK Cupid’s question is very inappropriate and to put something like that on a website is wrong and it should be banned.”

Helen added: “Yes, we’re just like everyone else, Darren and I love each other. People shouldn’t judge us, and we should have choices just like everybody else. Just because we have a learning disability, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have kids or the choice to have a child.”

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