B. A regressive ideology that over-emphasizes gender stereotypes
Aside from criticism that gender ideology is causing gender and sexual confusion in young people, there is also discussion around how it appears to be reinforcing gender stereotypes, rather than making people feel less pressured by them. Gender training material in schools do mention someone can be gender nonconforming and still be a boy or a girl. However, much of the imagery being presented in these programs rely heavily on gender stereotypes. Whether it is these trainers’ intentions or not, gender stereotypes have become thebasis of gender identity in LGBT youth environments.
Anecdotal observations, as well as evidence in survey studies of large increases in numbers of young people who say they are trans or non-binary, indicate gender stereotypes are actually being vigorously reinforced rather than gender being expanded. If gender ideology was expanding the definition of what a girl or boy could be, there would not be studies that show that up to 3% or more of young people identifying as trans or non-binary in schools now. No one has proved, with research data, why this is inherently more positive than simply normalizing diversity among males and females and normalizing even an extremely feminine boyhood or masculine girlhood.
It’s not that it’s negative to have some behaviors or preferences associated with one biological sex of the other. Clearly there are some differences in averages of patterns of behavior between boys and girls, that are proving to be due to genetic and hormonal differences, not just culture. And trans people often show preferences and behaviors more common to the opposite sex, and this likely has some biological basis for many trans people. What is important to focus on is whether these programs are ultimately creating gender liberation or if they are creating gender confusion and more rigid ideas of gender. Many are arguing the latter.
Given the reality of desistance stats from childhood gender dysphoria, that hormone blockers and medical transitions have risks, and that regret rates from medical transition may be increasing, it would be important for schools, and gender ideology supportive mental health professionals, to provide evidence they are not pushing ideas with the side effect of inducing more dysphoria. Young people seem to now be hyper aware if they don’t fit gender stereotypes. Given the whole discussion showing cultural influences on gender dysphoria it is important to ask questions about the culture around gender that is currently being created.
Gender activists, such as Joel Baum form Gender Spectrum, believe they are creating a more liberated, “expansive” world.
So when we think about the profile of non-binary individuals then we suddenly start to see a whole lot of complexity showing up, several of which are named here. The upshot is that we are talking about gender expansiveness. Individuals who are expanding our notions of gender. And the reason I like this particular term is it puts the onus on us. Not on the individual. Who often is simply being themselves. Gender expansive
Below are examples of a strong reinforcement of gender stereotypes being promoted by “queer youth” culture:
Here girls have pink bows, boys have blue shirts, non-binaries have aspects of both stereotypes or no stereotypes.
The exact same message is repeated below, where gender is about stereotypical boy or girl clothing. Here the girl is demurely smiling and the boy is confidently grinning.
In the below image, there are a multitude of genders with exact matching gradations of stereotypical feminine or masculine clothing presented to represent these identities. Here gender is defined by how masculine of feminine a person is. Not biological sex.
Glamorous princesses and action ready GI Joes in military clothing represent boys represent female and male. Feminine warm colors are female and cooler or bold colors are males are for males.
Here is a picture of a presenter from Mermaids, the largest support group for parents and trans identified children in the UK. Feminine and masculine are represented by Barbie and GI Joe. These are not just images promoted on
Queer Kids Stuff is a YouTube channel endorsed by GLAAD, an LGBT organization. The head of queer kids is teaching children that gender is about clothing choice. She states it is “obvious” that dress up in stereotypical male or female clothing is gender play and that the children should lead the way in the gender revolution.
Lindsay Amer creates a whole video where she talks about gender as related to stereotypical dress and behavior.
There are gender therapists who promote gender stereotypes. This gender therapist believes that no “cis men” could ever experience discomfort over body hair and that must mean the client is trans or genderqueer. The fact that a Google search for “men’s laser hair removal” yields about 280,000 results indicates otherwise. It’s also worthy to note here there are in fact males who identify as men, who enjoy cross-dressing as women, who don’t feel the need for 3rdgender pronouns. Neither of these statements are correct all the time.
My gender therapist said, “You’re definitely not a cis. Cis men aren’t uncomfortable with their body hair.Cis men don’t look at beautiful women and want to look like them.” That was a huge relief for me because, up until then, I thought I was just a cis man trying to appropriate trans language to be hip and cool. Good to know that’s not the case!
Milo Stewart, is a popular non-binary identified Youtuber. In observing her videos, like many non-binary identified females, she seems to have a highly unstable identity. She herself, calls herself “a gender confused college kid.” At 19 years old Milo Stewart went on testosterone to thicken her jaw and lower her voice because she didn’t like her voice and femininity.
Her videos are a “cute” presentation of gender dysphoria that strongly emphasizes clothing and hairstyle. A feminine outfit is a cooking apron and a masculine touch is a bowtie.
I want to share with you ways that I have found to be a complete gender****ing confusion.
Number 1 have an androgynous hair style. This one is not the most important step because you can totally have long hair or super short hair and be a total gender confusion.
Number 2. Learn how to wear both dresses and suits. And wear them both often because you know you are a cutie.
Number 3 mismatch and masculine touches to feminine outfits and add feminine touches to masculine outfits
C. A culture glorifying body dysphoria, plastic surgery, & hormonal body modifications
Warning: graphic content
Not only have many in the therapy and medical community embraced very pro-medical stance, LGBT youth gender culture is embracing a positive attitude about medical body modifications. This includes using them for non-binary identities to achieve a more androgynous aesthetic even when sever gender dysphoria is not present.
There is a large increase of females binding their breasts despite that fact this is usually an unhealthy practice. Binding is enabled by school systems and is celebrated in media directed at youth.
Quotes regarding the emerging pro-medical transition culture:
There is much more moulding online. In thousands of Instagram posts, Tumblr messages and YouTube “vlogs”, impressionable young people, largely girls, are told by upbeat, pretty folk slightly older than themselves how transitioning can be an escape route from uncertainty, autism, friendlessness, abuse, the pains of puberty, or homosexuality. Being a young lesbian is less cool…
On YouTube, testosterone is revered as “T”, “vitamin T” or “man-juice”. The side-effects are rarely mentioned. Vloggers urge you to “just do it . . . it’s all good”. There are tips for handling parents, claims that transition “saved me” from suicide and warnings that if you do not act quickly, you too could die.
According to psychologist Dr Lesley Prince, there’s a definite need for parents to be more aware of ROGD.
According to psychologist Dr Lesley Prince, there’s a definite need for parents to be more aware of ROGD.
Some research has found that a huge number of children who go through gender dysphoria grow out of it as they leave adolescence,” Dr Prince explains.
“And, in my experience, people who are trans are aware of their dysphoria for a long time. While it’s not always the case, it’s generally something that often starts in early childhood.
“But these days there’s a perceived trendiness behind transgenderism and a lot of cheerleading, too. Pre-social-media there wasn’t half the support or knowledge about transgender people, which of course made it incredibly difficult.
“But on the flip side, we’re now saturated with well-meaning encouragement and information, which also clouds the issue.”
With the number of young girls using social media for more than three hours per school day doubling in four years,** Stephanie believes that transgenderism is also being glamorised online.
This section covers a discussion of the move of the therapy and medical community from a mental health screening model to an affirmative or “informed consent” model. This has essentially removed gatekeeping in some cases, even for tweens and teenagers. This is putting youths at risk for over medicalizing their psychological issues around gender.
Critics of online trans/genderqueer youth culture believe it is fueling female body dysphoria, making gender dysphoria trendy, drawing in young people with other mental illnesses, & is creating an overly casual attitude towards surgical & hormonal body modifications
Currently, there is a huge catalogue of medical transition videos and blogs posted by young females. They feature graphic displays of mastectomy scars, chest puss drains, phalloplasty scars, and demonstrations of surgeries gone wrong. While there are libertarian arguments for adults doing this some of the posts are by minors or for minors.
Pro affirmative model and informed consent advocates would argue it is good that more young people are medically transitioning. They argue it is a good thing they are undergoing physical changes through rounds testosterone use to achieve an androgynous aesthetic to become “agender”, “bigender”, or “nogender.” Diane Ehrensaft uses the term promoting “gender health.” And that these videos are supportive and helpful.
Below a non-binary identified gender therapist discusses the positive emerging medical transition culture around non-binary identities and WPATH’s enthusiasm in supporting them.
“The president of WPATH at the time in 2011 when version 7 came out, his name was Walter Bockting, and Walter said about the new standards of care, alright, “These new standards allow for a broader spectrum of identities. They are no longer so binary. There’s no one way of being transgender. These standards allow for a genderqueer person to have their breasts removed without ever taking hormones.
Dr. IIana Sherer, a medical doctor, does not believe a minors needs therapy if they feel they want to transition as long as they seem stable. This is despite all studies on trans adults show higher rates of mental illness and suicide risk even in trans positive countries with public healthcare systems. Giving post transition issues and that some youths experience a “honeymoon period,” mental health support seems as though it may be of value valuable for tweens and teens.
…or how can we help them get to a person who can help with the gender stuff. Again, what comes out of this is what do we do about the kids who don’t need therapy. I really struggle, there are lots and lots of kids that I see that don’t have dysphoria that really don’t have mental health issues. And so to say to them you have to go get a letter from a mental health provider feels challenging to me.
This positive attitude around increasing numbers of young people transitioning and the online culture that supports this, is not universally shared. Some of the most alarmed people are transgender themselves. Several trans people online make commentary about what they see as an excessively casual attitude about surgery and hormones, a glorification of gender dysphoria, and criticism of concepts of multiple genders.
Mathew C is an FtM and a “transmedicalist” or “truscum” as it is called by “genderfluid” people who do not like this viewpoint. These terms mean one must have serious gender dysphoria and medically transition to truly be trans. They tend to question non-binary identities and feel some young people are being caught up in a fad. He expresses offense and alarm about what he sees as a glorification of female body hatred and equating this with being transgender.
Ash Hardell is a young adult who started off on the internet as straight identified, then identified as bisexual, then starting questioning her gender, then started identifying as genderqueer and then started making YouTube videos ruminating about wanting a double mastectomy. She wanted to be more androgynous looking because she doesn’t like her breasts.
Her story is a very typical example of the evolution of many females online. They may start of considering themselves straight or maybe bisexual or lesbian. They being to ruminate publically about gender. They start to focus on talking about how much they hate their bodies and think they may be trans. Then possibly take testosterone and/or amputate their breasts to be genderqueer. There isn’t long-term research on these individuals but this study does not show positive results for non-binary identified individuals who medically transition.
In the below video Mathew C. (1:38-1:53) criticizes Ash Hardell about having “hair dysphoria.” Ash Hardel has over 433,300 followers and likes to obsess about her body dissatisfaction in her videos and has now amputated her breast. She recently admitted that she has an eating disorder and she is has now amputated her breasts to be non-binary. She filmed her top surgery consultation and came out to her mother as trans in a YouTube video.
Gender dysphoria is a real condition and Ashley, you are appropriating that condition it is a medical condition you need a diagnosis for. Not just stuff you have with your hair . That makes no sense.
There are many other videos like this online where body dissatisfaction is painted as a form of trans. Some trans critics believe this is happening because of a culture that celebrates it, that promotes public proclamations of body dissatisfaction, and that having gender dysphoria is “cooler” than just hating your body. It gives one “oppression points” in an identity politics worshiping culture.
In this video, “Here’s Why So Many Teens Are Turning ‘Trans’”, an FtM trans person and a lesbian discuss the exploding numbers of trans identified youth. Like other trans people this trans man believes youth culture is making being trans trendy, is glamorizing trans identity, and some of it is actually body dysmorphia, rather than gender dysphoria.
Here is another example of a YouTube star, Milo Stewart, discussing non-binary gender dysphoria and how she was taking testosterone to alleviate it. It seems highly unlikely this young person would have chosen to take testosterone to masculinize her appearance twenty years ago. She is now off of testosterone after being on it for a couples of years. Given many examples of mental illness, social contagion, and other factors affecting dysphoria, it’s worth questioning whether or not she has actual “innate” gender dysphoria at all or if it is merely culturally induced.
She has now apparently gone off testosterone. One reason this cultural trend should be scrutinized is that there is no conclusive evidence that females who take high dosages of testosterone won’t be effecting their offspring or their health down the road.
Research has shown that besides decreasing inflammation and increasing muscle strength and growth, the long term use of anabolic steroids may change the reproductive system of some women. This is the direct result of a decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels in the body and changes in the level of testosterone. Female athletes who compete and use steroids for growth and strength may be most affected.
Steroids are known to cause serious birth defects in the babies of women who take them, even years later. No research has yet been done on the effects of large doses of bio identical testosterone on the increasing numbers of young females taking it.
There is a lot of research, although it is mixed, as to the extent hormones effects breasts and ovarian cancer. Being on birth control and breast feeding reduces ovarian cancer risk, indicating that even hormonal changes for just a few years can change cancer outcomes. It is suggested being on testosterone may affect the likelihood of this deadly and difficult to detect cancer.
The American Cancer Society has asserted that, due to the amount of testosterone ingested, transmen have an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Excess testosterone is converted into estrogen in the body, adding to our ovarian cancer risk (2).
People who identify as non-binary are using hormones to modify their appearance. “Neither male nor female: Why some nonbinary people are 'microdosing' hormones.”
Miles Mckenna who was a lesbian but then came out as trans and got a double mastectomy has almost 700,000 YouTube followers. Mckenna, who now experiences panic attacks never experienced pre-transition did a video called ‘Coming out in Middle School’. Where being trans is like being in an emo clique.
“What’s more emo than having a coming out experience?… We’re gonna destroy gender roles!”
In another example of the celebratory attitude of medical body modifications, one trans man brought a jar of formaldehyde containing amputated breasts to show to tween and teen trans identified females:
Two things Jessie and Naomi noticed at the Museum of Transology book signing were the age of the girls present and the self-harming scars borne by so many. Naomi was pretty certain that at 17 she was the eldest and they guessed several to be as young as 13. No parents were in attendance. An anecdote that stuck in my mind was that the curator- a trans-identified woman whose pickled breasts were present in an exhibit jar- at one point got down on her knees, twirly moustache and all, and shuffled across the floor saying, “Trans children! I want to be them!”
The main reason I mention all this is in reference to the Q&A session. While Jake (Alex’s ‘boy’friend) attempted to answer questions about transition in detail, Alex’s responses mostly consisted telling the girls present not to overthink things and just get on with it.
Jessie says, “He* kept saying ‘just go for it’. He* said, ‘You just have to do it, it’s like ripping a band-aid off.'”
There are whole sections of internet sites for youth that contain graphic art of depictions of female self-hatred and gender dysphoria that includes bloody chest mastectomy bandages, arrows sticking into the bodies of female trans identified youth, and depicting ruminating on hating being a girl.
An interesting analogy can be made to other forms of body modification which trans identification in young people appears to be morphing into (in some cases) in today’s culture. Here is a piece in Psychology Today about other forms of extreme body modification and the increase of it among young people:
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry(link is external) released a statement in 1999 (link is external) in which they listed tattooing and 'excessive piercing' along with picking, burning, head-banging and cutting as possible forms of self-injury. While this may seem somewhat of an alarmist conclusion to many, especially those who are tattoed and pierced, the AACAP is not the first on the block to reach this conclusion. In mainstream professional journals, including The Journal of Psychosomatic Research (2006, volume 6, issue 4), Adolescence (2002, volume 37, issue 147), The Journal of Adolescent Health (2005, volume 36, issue 4), Deviant Behavior (2009, volume 30, issue 6) and Pediatrics (2002, volume 109, issue 60), tattooing and body piercing have been associated with dangerous and sometimes lethal risk-taking beavior, eating disorders, self-loathing, substance abuse, depression and social alienation.
Might there be alternate, less pathological explanations for this tsunami of seeming self-desecration? At a most basic and benign level, perhaps tattooing and piercing are simply forms of self-expression, a means of marking ourselves in a society that fosters, both wittingly and unwittingly, anomie and anonymity. Perhaps, as postmodernists might argue, this self-marking is a means of asserting mastery and control over our bodies, and anchoring ourselves, quite literally during a time of life when the only constant is change. Maybe it is not self-mutilation, but rather self enhancement and adornment, a means of saying "I am' in a way that is heard...body bling! And don't forget the socio/anthropological possibility that tats and piercings may demonstrate loyalty, affiliation or be a ritualistic rite of passage. For some, it may simply be the rush of adrenaline that accompanies a self-chosen and self-controlled moment of physical pain.
This form of body libertarianism may be open to debate. However, it become societies business in general, when this approach to gender identity and gender nonconformity is being taught to elementary, junior high, and high school students which it currently is.
Another example of this pro-medicalization stance can be found with Aydin Olson-Kennedy, spouse of Johanne Olson-Kennedy who promoted a fundraising request for a severely developmentally disabled person in ill physical health.
Here Johanna Olson-Kennedy says that if one of the minors she medically transitions (she did a study involving thirteen year olds who have received double mastectomy) and have regrets and want their breast back they can just “go and get them.”
Cayden Carter, is suiing Dr. Cutis Crane as one of 8 lawsuits from FtMs due to phalloplasty complications. He has had almost 30 surgeries, and was on an ileostomy bag and has this to say:
In this quote Peter, an FtM who transitioned in middle age, expresses concern about the pro surgery/hormone culture lesbian youth are exposed to.
Peter lived as a woman until his late forties when, after extensive therapy, he became a trans man. “I just knew I had to do this to be happy. I was simply not a woman.” He now runs a trans support group and is aghast at an online culture pushing young lesbians into hasty transition. “I think some of them actually want to hold on to the transitional state. For a girl who was once marginalised, it has prestige. You post videos updating your progress. You get endless attention.” But actually living in your new gender can be a letdown. “They find their old problems have not gone away. And we pick up the pieces.” Peter knows trans boys who consulted private doctors to obtain hormones without prior counselling “and now they’ve had a breakdown and are asking Facebook friends to donate money for therapy they should have had first.”
Cultural celebration of breast binding, double mastectomy and non-binary double mastectomies, reinforced by magazines for youth & school endorsement of binding policies dysmorphic disorder, or a combination?
There have been a lot of articles in the press lately featuring females who are uncomfortable with or even despise their breasts and have opted for double mastectomy. While many women may have had issues with their chests in the past, voluntary double mastectomies appear to be a new phenomenon. Females who do this often report other mental health problems and eating disorders. It is unclear if these surgeries will help all of this cohort in the long run. Women who get breast augmentation have much higher suicided rates. So, cosmetic surgery does not necessarily alleviate all of the body issues females have.
It is currently unclear how much these new non-binary breast amputations and/or testosterone use are gender related or just a form of body dimorphic disorder (more on that below). Women report high satisfaction rates with breast reductions (mostly due to back pain reduction) so maybe this will work out well for these females.
More research on this population needs to be done to determine long-term mental health outcomes from these medical procedures. Despite this, school systems are validating the rise in the number of teenage females with an intense desire to bind through PE binding policies. It is important to note binding causes permanent tissue damage, bruised and fractured ribs, breathing problems, punctured lungs, and back problems. The practice really isn’t safe although limiting time in the binder can make it less harmful. A study on binding yielded results showing widespread harm.
Despite the ubiquity of the practice, a staggering 97.2 percent of those surveyed reported at least one negative health outcome that they attributed to binding. Seventy-four percent reported pain-related concerns—the most common side effect was back pain (53.8 percent), followed by overheating (53.5 percent), chest pain (48.8 percent), shortness of breath (46.6 percent), and itching (44.9 percent). Fifty respondents even believed they had suffered from rib fractures as a result of binding.
Trans youth groups have mobilized to give out free binders to meet the growing demand. Chase Ross, through a private company, has had binder giveaways online. In the first round 30 were given away, the next round 60 binders. This will like go up. Ross has 149,000 followers. Pop culture has embraced the increased popularity of binding.
Several examples of online articles geared towards the younger generation and positive representation of breast binding are listed below.
“7 Things You Should Know Before Buying Your First Chest Binder” in Bustle who says:
…getting your first binder can be a fun and transformative experience” and that “it can be magical.
Here Shannon Keating who formally identified as a lesbian describes inducing greater gender dysphoria through putting on her partner’s binder. This and other gender confusion is treated as a positive step society.
Once, my partner let me try on their chest binder, and the way I looked with a white T-shirt on top almost moved me to tears — both from a stunned sort of happiness at how I appeared from the waist up, and from the bitter disappointment I felt that my bottom half, all hips and ass, didn’t match. I haven’t tried getting my own binder yet, because I’m worried about how I felt that day: my occasional dysmorphia deepened, rather than alleviated, when I saw how much about my body can’t be so easily changed.
There is a whole fashion industry around binding. The reason this is an issue is that even temporarily compressing tissue effects circulation and can cause harm, especially in a growing teen. It is also trying to hide from view, a natural body part. This is worth analyzing in populations who do this, who are not necessarily transitioning FtM due to a very strong desire to be the opposite sex. Aside from providing relief to FtMs, binders are marketed to females who hate their breasts, want to do it for fashion, want a more androgynous appearance, like to gender bend temporarily, and for cosplay. For example, the below product is marketed not just to FtMs but to tomboys and lesbians.
The this video is an infomercial about using breast binders for Cosplay.
Again, binding for non-binary identity and cosplay:
“Giving my friend his first chest binder! + GIVEAWAY (XL & XXL)” is a video of a friend getting another friend into binding. These videos of young people are common.
This article in Mic acknowledges the dangers of binding.
It matters that a binder company is already trusted for the simple reason that chest binding can be quite dangerous. "I essentially liken binding to drinking a can of Coke," Jessie Anderson, who is transgender, said in a previous interview. "Is it good for you? No, but you're going to do it anyway."
Chest binding isn't only commonplace for transgender men who are transitioning either — people of all genders who are dissatisfied or uncomfortable with their chests do it as well.
Autostraddle, a magazine for “queer” women, MtFs, and nonbinary identified people states people are binding for many reasons, not just to transition FtM.
Breast Binding is the practice of using a tight undergarment to flatten your chest. People may bind if they have body dysphoria, if they like wearing men’s clothing and want it to fit better, if they are performing drag, if they want to pass as male, or for other reasons. People with all sorts of identities bind.
Milo Stewart is a young female whose behavior, emotional immaturity, constant confusion, shifting gender and sexual orientation identities, and experimentation with testosterone incites both sincere alarm and cruel mockery on the internet. Here in the video “How to be a Gender Confusion” Milo Stewart cutely demonstrates not binding when “she” feels like a girl and binding when “he” feels like a boy presented in a “cute” way. Again, binding is not really ever a completely safe practice. “Have boobs one day and no boobs the next day.”
Britain has so many females binding, once rare even within the LGBT community, schools have initiated PE policies to allow the students to rest if their binders are creating breathing difficulties.
Guidelines issued to teachers by local authorities say that some youngsters who choose to bind their chests may suffer from “breathing difficulties and fainting” during sports sessions.
They have also warned schools that they could be breaking the law if they put their transgender pupils at risk or treat them less favourably.
Cornwall Council says that this “can be hot, uncomfortable and restrictive – but very important to their psychological wellbeing.
“It might make certain PE lessons difficult for them and could lead to breathing difficulties, skeletal problems and fainting.”
Lancashire County Council advises that: “If you have young people who bind their chests, monitor them carefully during physical activities and in hot weather. It may be necessary to subtly offer more breaks.”
A school official from Britain is worried about this surge in binding in this Guardian article.
Adele Robinson (not her real name), a head of year at a secondary school, shares Davies-Arai’s worries. The school has had 12 children, all girls, come out as transgender in the past 18 months. The majority, she says, have autism, and some have experienced sexual abuse. When they come out, she says, they have brought in information sourced from Tumblr blogs and YouTube videos. Although her team does its best to “support every child in a loving, kind and compassionate way”, she feels that staff are too frightened to challenge what she sees as harmful practices: “We have chest binders worn in school, which is horrible. If a child was cutting, they would be straight in with a counsellor. Yet damaging developing breast tissue goes unquestioned. It’s a gross failure in terms of child protection.”
This enthusiasm for giving tween and teen females binders who usually have just come out as trans is discussed here by 4thwavenow, a youth medical transition skeptics website. LGBT youth support groups unquestioningly support a young person’s desire to bind and provide them with the binders to do it without examining any underlying psychological issues because it is considered “transphobic.”
Did I miss something? When did the discussion take place in Western societies, wherein we took a vote and agreed that any minor female child who wants a breast binder–a potentially dangerous device meant to start a girl on the road to “transition” to hormones and surgery–should get one, free of charge, no questions asked, with no consultation with or consent from parents or legal guardians?
This quote demonstrates the dangers both medical transition and chest binding pose to lesbian teenagers.
RainbowYouth has been distributing breast binders in schools, ostensibly for born “transmen” – but we know teenage girls suffer discomfort with their bodies in this climate of objectification we live in. Consider Northland teenager Zahra Cooper, a young lesbian who was put on a course of testosterone that permanently altered her body and voice before she recognised she is inalterably female.
To understand what happens to young females who hate their chest and their painful relationship to their breasts “Destroy Your Binder” is illuminating. This young adult is trying to move forward with chest dysphoria without engaging in the self-harming practice of binding. These young females deserve support and compassion regardless of what they decide to do with their bodies.
In “Why Genderqueer Model Rain Dove Refuses to Bind Her Chest for Men's Fashion Week”Rain Dove, who identifies as genderqueer, encourages young females not to bind.
Dove also cautions that chest binding, if done incorrectly, can be extremely dangerous. In an article for Bustle, Dove warns, "Inappropriate binding can lead to crushed organs, ribs, arrythmia, and more. It's important to me that if people feel that the only way they will be safely respected as male or passably flat chested without surgery that they do this practice carefully!"
A Google search for non-binary top surgery yields over 287,000 results. Non-binary breast amputation is also being viewed as a positive form of identity expression in popular magazines. Some examples below.
This article, “When Neither Male nor Female Seems to Fit” features a female who for years longed to get breast cancer to justify a double mastectomy. This person is now undergoing top surgery to appear more male.
This article features the prominent practice of FtMs and non-binaries graphically documenting their medical transition, including the popular post op selfie. However, this article does speak to the intensity and pain involved in getting a double mastectomy.
A quick reminder here: I am non binary. I identify as neither male nor female but I identify far more with male. Therefore in places and situations in which I have to adhere to the gender binary and choose, I choose male. I live as a trans man to the wider world, however I am still non binary. My non binary gender identity is still valid.
So back to the topic. I had this wild idea that having my tits off would make me appear more male. And I guess, yes, it has. If I'm topless. However I'm rarely topless outside the house. And so, short of lifting my shirt to every person I meet, I am still read as female. I thought that this HUGE step, this MASSIVE surgery, would somehow have a huge massive impact on my transition and they way the world views me.
But it didn't. And this is the hardest part. Not the pain, not the recovery, not the worry over whether I would keep my nipples or not (the grafts can fail and leave you nipple-less). Not whether I would like the results or not. The hardest part is that on the days I feel most myself, the days I feel connected to my body and comfortable, I still face consistent misgendering.
Double mastectomies are also being popularized in youth cultural, being used to create a hip, progressive image.
Is this rise in the popularity of binding and non-binary mastectomy true gender dysphoria, a form of body dysmorphic disorder, or a combination?
Some mental health professionals observing this rise in mastectomies and binding wonder if some of these cases are a form of body dysmorphic disorder. Since the cultural increase of these practices have not been well explained or studied, it is worth at least asking these questions.
Body dysmorphic disorder is defined as:
Characteristics of BDD
BDD is a body-image disorder characterized by persistent and intrusive preoccupations with an imagined or slight defect in one's appearance.
People with BDD can dislike any part of their body, although they often find fault with their hair, skin, nose, chest, or stomach. In reality, a perceived defect may be only a slight imperfection or nonexistent. But for someone with BDD, the flaw is significant and prominent, often causing severe emotional distress and difficulties in daily functioning.
BDD most often develops in adolescents and teens, and research shows that it affects men and women almost equally. In the United States, BDD occurs in about 2.5% in males, and in 2.2 % of females. BDD often begins to occur in adolescents 12-13 years of age (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
The causes of BDD are unclear, but certain biological and environmental factors may contribute to its development, including genetic predisposition, neurobiological factors such as malfunctioning of serotonin in the brain, personality traits, and life experiences (e.g. child maltreatment, sexual trauma, peer-abuse).
Signs and Symptoms of BDD
People with BDD suffer from obsessions about their appearance that can last for hours or up to an entire day. BDD obsessions may be focused on musculature (i.e. fixation on muscle mass or definition). Hard to resist or control, these obsessions make it difficult for people with BDD to focus on anything but their imperfections. This can lead to low self-esteem, avoidance of social situations, and problems at work or school.
BDD sufferers may perform some type of compulsive or repetitive behavior to try to hide or improve their flaws although these behaviors usually give only temporary relief.
Examples are listed below:
-camouflaging (with body position, clothing, makeup, hair, hats, etc.)
-comparing body part to others' appearance
-checking in a mirror
-changing clothes excessively
In some key ways, body dysmorphic disorder is not a proper comparison to gender dysphoria. Surgeries or dieting often do not relieve the distress of the person with BDD. They often obsessively crave more body modifications. Most studies on post transition results for people with gender dysphoria report that the gender dysphoria is alleviated in a majority of the cases, although mental health problems remain. Even if the person still has psychological issues, they report they feel better about their body, with some people being very happy and comfortable post transition. Trans people say themselves that BBD is a distortionof what one sees, which is not the same as discomfort of one’s sexed body parts. Here is one example:
I do not have body dysmorphia because I do not have a distorted view of how I look. Instead, I am acutely aware of how I do look. If I were cisgender, I would be happy with my breasts. They are beautiful. They just do not belong on my chest.
However, it is not always that simple. BDD and gender dysphoria do share similarities in terms of the intense body dissatisfaction involved and in some cases for people with “shifting dysphoria.” There is often a” honeymoon period” (for both conditions) with each transition step and then a reality sets in again. There is a satisfaction with the changes with testosterone use, but then the obsession becomes getting top surgery. Then the next obsession becomes getting phalloplasty. And even after all of these steps people sometimes people still experience gender dysphoria. Shifting dysphoria is a topic that is commonly talked about in the trans community.
Sometimes even coming out as trans actually causes more of a fixation on gender and identity.
I identify as a FtM. Before I identified as such I was very confused about my "male" desires and hatred of my body, particularly the female attributes of it. But I wasn't really depressed or anything, just a little anxious and uncomfortable. After coming out as FtM however, I got really depressed and suicidal. I think it was because the doors to a long challenging transition were opened. Sometimes I wish I could just go back to being confused and enclosed. Has anyone else had similar feelings?
I actually didn't experience dysphoria until after I realized I was trans, pretty much initially after the discovery did I feel a disconnect with my body.
This therapist works with trans people who continue feeling dysphoria after transition.
Here is a quote from a gender therapist indicating a feedback between the availability of gender transition and increasing gender dysphoria.
Often overlooked is the fact that body dysphoria can become more acute once the gender dysphoria is addressed. Hormones and living a new gender role can bring the brain/social role into alignment. But that can make body dysphoria stand out all the more as a prominent issue. Once the other issues have been addressed, this is the one that is left.
In these cases, BDD actually shares more similarities to the desire to medically transition than trans activists and affirmative model advocates admit. The distortion is not with the perception, the distortion is about an intense amount of distress about the sexed body. Both are a distress about the reality of what is actually there.
In some cases, non-binary body modifications may be more similar to other forms of extreme body modifications:
Remember when tattoos and nose piercings were extreme? Today they’re passé compared to what’s happening in the body modification scene. In piercing parlours across the country you can have your tongue split in half, silicone shapes inserted under your skin, tattoos on your eyeballs and designs cut into your flesh. Stephanie Coombes went under the knife herself, getting a magnet implanted under her fingertip.
It is premature to validate all new forms of chest binding and non-binary mastectomies in rising numbers of females as traditional gender dysphoria as we know it. Some forms of a compulsion to bind and have surgically validated non-binary identities may be a new form of a self-perception or dysphoria/dysmorphia disorder altogether.
One example of chest dysphoria is a testament as to how much people’s own body perception is affected by the environment. Heterosexual women who aren’t trans can experience an urge to bind without gender dysphoria. The below Teenvogue quote from “Unbinding My Breasts” demonstrates how the urge to binding is socially influenced. It is doubtful this person would have started binding as a girl if it wasn’t introduced to her by adults.
The costume design team decided that the easiest way to solve the problem was to bind my chest for the performances. I was still a child and didn’t have the tools or knowledge to understand that I was only playing a part that required this body modification, and that there was nothing wrong with my body. By this time, I didn’t want to talk about my body, not even with my mother. I was going through the phase where the last thing I wanted was to discuss anything about growing up into a woman. So, in secret, even after the production of Annie was over, I started to bind my chest every day. Each morning I would lock myself in the bathroom and wrap my chest with bandages. I was no longer doing this for the part, but for my daily existence. It was a couple weeks before my mother caught me doing it and uncomfortably tried to explain to me the changes I was going through.
Most dysphoric females are same-sex attracted. But even in the lesbian community twenty-five years ago binding was rare. Its popularity has greatly increased. This would be fine if it wasn’t damaging to breathing, the ribcage, and breast tissue. Cultural and social aspects should be examined as to why so many females are feeling compelled to remove this body part now when double mastectomies have been around for decades.
This area needs more research before being blindly supported, especially by public school systems, in tweens, teenagers, and young adults who are not yet fully mature. The line between binding for fashion and cosplay, a desire for a more androgynous look, body hatred, double mastectomies for non-binary identities, and self-harming behavior versus actual serious gender dysphoria as it has been historically understood is currently blurry.Since they are validating and promoting this in tween and teenage females failing to take a closer look would be negligence since these are young people without fully mature brains.
D. An unhealthy peer pressure & social contagion environment
Social isolation and social exclusion are not good for the mental health of trans youth. Everyone needs a supportive community of friends and family. And some trans people, detransitioners, and desisters have spoken about some unhealthy group dynamics that exist in some trans and “queer” environments.
This is a quote from a re-identified woman who spent time in LGBT social circles and activism (2:45-3:45):
So, while I very much identified as trans masculine and not as a woman and surrounded myself with trans and queer people online and in real life as much as possible, the more I did that the more I came in some ways to wonder if my transition attempts might be futile when it came to being a thing that might alleviate my gender and sex dysphoria.
I knew so many trans people who were still dysphoric before during and after transition, who changed their identities multiple times, who had severe concurring mental health problems and physical problems. And who continued on with hormones and surgery and binding and all kinds of things, even when it made those problems worse and were lauded by the community for it. I also saw people put themselves in dangerous positions just to be “authentic” or come out to and make demands on people in their lives when maybe it wasn’t wise or safe to do so.
This from another young desister:
The transactivist community on Tumblr is so toxic and insular that I spent over a year of my life desperate to escape my womanhood, simply because people on the internet told me it was the only way to “cure” my dysphoria. My newfound “trans” identity consumed me–I spent hours upon hours watching transition videos and dreaming of the day when that would be me. I was sixteen, friendless and depressed, but online, I felt like I belonged.
Shortly before turning eighteen, I left for a nine month internship in a rural area with no internet access. At the end of that period, in which I was completely isolated from online activism of any kind, I was still dysphoric but I no longer wished to medically transition. I came to the logical conclusion that if being free from activist rhetoric had inspired such a significant change in mindset, maybe transition wasn’t the right option for me after all…
Had I not been exposed to the cultish mindset of Tumblr’s transactivists at a vulnerable phase of my life, I would not have become absorbed by a desire to permanently change my body. The tendency of these people to indiscriminately “affirm” gender identities is dangerous and incredibly harmful to young women who feel uncomfortable with themselves because of the way society treats females. I was fortunate enough to step away long enough to realize the glaring flaws of transactivism; if I hadn’t, there is no doubt that I would have pursued hormones and surgery without hesitation.
Young outside observers are disturbed by what they see as unhealthy peer dynamics among young adults around gender. The number of trans identified people on college campuses is significantly higher than it has ever been.
There is no doubt in my mind that there is a social contagion among college students. At my school, it is trendy to be transgender, and to people who feel like they don’t fit in, particularly with other people of their biological sex, choosing to transition to the opposite sex, and become a member of the opposite sex, may certainly seem like a more viable option than continuing to feel rejected while trying to fit in. But a lot of this culture surrounding trans teens and college students is aggressively narcissistic and cutesy — selfies captioned “i love being nonbinary,” “you’re gay no matter who you date,” and “baby’s first binder!” At best these random, new identities are invented to fit an aesthetic. At worst they are aggressively anti “straight white men,” apparently the worst species on earth and the ones responsible for all hardship, as they threaten professors and other students who dare to hint at an observation that doesn’t sound affirmative of transgender identities.
At the present time, I now know about 30 trans people personally, and another 20 by name. Given that I attend such a small school, this is a very high percentage. Even the RA of my freshman year floor, who introduced herself two years ago with she/her pronouns, now goes by he/him and identifies as a boy.
Parents have also expressed that they believe their children are involved in social environments that appear to be exacerbating mental health problems and negative rumination and isolating their children from loved ones. Some of this is revealed in Lisa Littman’s study on “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria in Adolescents and Young Adults”:
Statistically significant differences were revealed for AYAs with exposure to social influences having worse outcomes for mental well-being and parent-child relationships, and greater numbers exhibiting distrust, isolating and anti-social behaviors including: narrowed range of interests and hobbies, expressing that they only trusted information from transgender sources, trying to isolate themselves from their family, losing interest in activities that weren’t predominantly with transgender or LGBTIA participants, and telling people or posting on social media that their parent is “transphobic,” “abusive,” or “toxic” because the parent doesn’t agree with the child’s assessment of being transgender.
One participant explained, “They are constantly putting down straight, white people for being privileged, dumb and boring.” Another participant elaborated, “In general, cis-gendered people are considered evil and unsupportive, regardless of their actual views on the topic. To be heterosexual, comfortable with the gender you were assigned at birth, and non-minority places you in the ‘most evil’ of categories with this group of friends. Statement of opinions by the evil cis-gendered population are consider phobic and discriminatory and are generally discounted as unenlightened.”
More on social contagion and disparaging people who are not trans:
The adolescent and young adult children were, on average, 14.4 years old when their first friend became transgender-identified (Table 6). Within friendship groups, the average number of individuals who became transgender-identified was 3.5 per group. In 36.8% of the friend groups described, the majority of individuals in the group became transgender-identified. The order that the focal AYA “came out” compared to the rest of their friendship group was calculated from the 119 participants who provided the number of friends coming out both before and after their child and 74.8% of the AYAs were first, second or third of their group. Parents described intense group dynamics where friend groups praised and supported people who were transgender-identified and ridiculed and maligned non-transgender people. Where popularity status and activities were known, 60.7% of the AYAs experienced an increased popularity within their friend group when they announced a transgender-identification and 60.0% of the friend groups were known to mock people who were not transgender or LGBTIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or asexual).
Here increases in the child’s popularity:
Of the 39 descriptions of responses, 19 of these responses referred to positive benefits the child received after coming out including positive attention, compliments, increased status, increased popularity, increased numbers of online followers, and improved protection from ongoing bullying. The following are quotes from parents about the perceived benefits of transgender-identification afforded to their child. One respondent said, “Great increase in popularity among the student body at large. Being trans is a gold star in the eyes of other teens.” Another respondent explained, “not so much ‘popularity’ increasing as ‘status’…also she became untouchable in terms of bullying in school as teachers who ignored homophobic bullying …are now all at pains to be hot on the heels of any trans bullying.” Seven respondents described a mixed response where the child’s popularity increased with some friends and decreased with others. Seven respondents described a neutral response such as “All of the friends seemed extremely accepting.” Two described a temporary increase in their child’s popularity: “There was an immediate rush of support when he came out. Those same friends have dwindled to nothing as he rarely speaks to any of them now.” Another described the loss of friends. And two parents described that “coming out” prevented the loss of friends explained by one respondent as “to not be trans one would not have been included in his group.”
Here are other accounts from parents:
As Butler suggests, a narrative designed to liberate can itself become oppressive when it turns into doctrine. Some parents revealed that they feared their kids were subject to peer pressure. A visibly unhappy couple were still in shock after their daughter’s announcement that she was trans. She was in her final year at university and they feared that the announcement reflected the undue influence of a new partner with strong links to trans activism. They were particularly worried that this partner had separated their daughter from her other friends. Another mother said that her ‘trans’ daughter was voicing just the same kind of worries about her appearance that she herself had experienced at the same age. The difference was that her daughter was being encouraged to transition by her friends.
Here a parent speaks to a glorification of oppression that happens in trans youth environments on college campuses.
Another parent online notices how much more popular her daughter become after identifying as trans.
And the risks that come with constant validation.
In this quote, a trans women expresses some dismay about a parent’s seeming enthusiasm in having a trans identified teen who actually appears to be a “transtrender.” This is behavior that is in line with other parents who are fighting not to have gender markers on their child’s birth certificate.
Recent Events: A couple years ago, via her facebook page, a very socially liberal, rather prominent (and wealthy) venture capitalist in my professional circle proudly announced that her teenaged child was “transgender”. I’ve been living “mostly stealth” in that most of my professional contacts do not know of my medical history (yes, I “pass”). But in a move to be supportive and perhaps even help her with the emotional issues that almost always come with a child’s transition I came out to her. BAD MOVE! Nope, upon learning more about her child, it became very clear that her daughter had always been very gender typical as a girl, was not the least bit gender dysphoric, and had no intention of legally, socially, nor medically transitioning. No, she just wanted to be recognized as “transgender” and have everyone around her use gender neutral pronouns (cause she is they are so special, she they deserve it).
While visibility and support are no doubt positive for trans youth, the current fixation on trans identity politics is obviously encouraging some young people to identify as trans in the past who would not have. Pro affirmation model advocates believe more young people are coming out as trans because of a more accepting environment and that youth who are just being “trendy” are just “gender bending” (Dr Olson’s comment 2017, Gender Odyssey conference) and not expressing true distress around their gender.
There are mounting examples of borderline dysphoric youth being put at risk by a culture that is
currently enthusiastic about young people medically transitioning along
showers attention on youth with trans identities
support political capital for being part of an oppressed minority.
Rather than analyze this it’s best to just let young people explain what happened to them in their own words. 4thwavenow.com, is a website run by parents whose daughters desisted and are skeptical of the safety of medically transitioning so many young people. There are multiple accounts listed below that all show the exact same pattern. Struggles with same sex attraction, a culture glorifying gender dysphoria, an unhealthy obsession with identity, and the risk of this to teens who are lesbian or have some homosexual tendencies, in a climate that now is much more validating of FtMs than lesbians. Other accounts similar to the ones below exist on other websites, such as Tumblr.
A teen says this about “transtrending” peer pressure in a letter sent to a therapist:
When do you believe a trans identity is valid? I certainly don’t disagree with you that there are many teenagers in my generation that are “becoming” trans because it is trendy, having no symptoms of gender dysphoria (I know a person like this). But do you think that trans people need to meet certain criteria to be considered trans and be considered for medical transition? If so, what criteria? Do you believe that gender dysphoria can present itself at puberty?
Below are 2 other accounts of youth who have trouble detransitioning from Steensma et al. 2011.
People who transition need support and community. Every minority group needs this to find companionship, others who share their experience, and to protect against minority stress. What is also true in some cases is a dysphoric young person’s attachment and loyalty to their in group can be a risk to them if they may be better served by not transitioning. Once a young person comes out as trans and immerses himself or herself in the trans community, it can be very difficult to change one’s mind about medical transition. Despite a denial of this dynamic among trans activists and a narrative among affirmative model advocates that social pressure doesn’t influence what is really just a biological condition, there are accounts of real young people that contradict this.
Other sections on this website there are accounts of the social environment influencing a desire to transition. For example, FtM youth get a lot more validation, attention, and support than lesbian youth currently. They become more important and popular if they transition as indicated in the above examples and elsewhere. There is also an in-group pressure to transition. Many detransitioners and desisters report being completely shunned when they cease to identify as trans. It is almost impossible for a young person who has gender issues but isn’t transitioning to find support outside of an online community of detransitioners.
This isn’t to blame the trans community. Desistance and detransition make trans people feel very defensive. They correctly perceive that the more this happens the stricter the gatekeeping will be, which is something they do not feel is best for them. There is also a sense of loss when you are part of a tiny minority when others leave your minority group. Other in-groups have this dynamic. Jewish people are a small population and some parents want to see their children stay in the community and marry within the culture to protect against total assimilation and loss of identity, even if they are not very religious. Lesbians often strongly dislike it when lesbian identified women decide they want to be in a relationship with a man due to the fact that it makes people take their sexual orientation less seriously and that they already have an incestuous, tiny dating pool. African American women have stress around what has happened to the black family and often have strong feelings when black men marry white women. These struggles vary in nature and severity from community to community but they are real and understandable. Tribal tendencies are human. But unfortunately, it can be very hard on a young person and their decision to stop identifying as trans.
Here are some examples as explained by therapists, parents of desisters, and detransitioners and desisters in their own words.
A therapist observation:
A detransitioned once MtF man discusses the reality of peer pressure,
Once we identify with a tribe, for example if we identify as trans we are now in that tribe, and so we take this worldview as being true, and other worldviews are rejected. This creates a lack of flexibility and a lack of ability to take in outside information. Once one identifies with something it becomes very difficult to change that. This happens in other contexts too, like in psychology and psychotherapy for things other than gender issues. For example, if you are working with someone who is depressed, sometimes they identify with their depression. They will say being depressed is who they are and that they are that kind of person. In this case it is much more difficult to work with them, and in fact they’re very unlikely to even come to therapy in the first place because they see their depression as who they are.
Whilst I only took testosterone for a year, I bound my breasts and wore only men’s clothes for considerably longer. I knew by this point that what I’d done wasn’t right for me, that I hadn’t been ‘born in the wrong body’, but I didn’t have the insight or the language to understand why. I was also frightened by the possibility that I might not be transgender. The identity had been so comforting; who was I without it? Finally facing up to that innominate abyss took me 29 years.
CaseyJeanC a high functioning autistic sympathizes with young people’s pain around dysphoria. She addresses (8:55-9:51) the fact that people are saying trans environments are in some ways “cult-like.”
Some of you have also labeled the online circles or real-life queer and trans communities your kids are involved with as “cult-like,” or having abusive group dynamics, and said that they try to separate your kids from you or convince your kids to wall themselves off from you or control what ideas they are willing to entertain. I’ve definitely seen that in real life. I know that that’s a thing. I’ve seen that in adult circles, I’ve seen it online, and I’ve seen it with kids…Those observations that you have may be very true but so is your child’s distress. Dysphoria is clinical level unhappiness and unease distress…(For Parents of (Autistic) Girls with Gender Dysphoria - Part 1
And this quote from “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria.” indicates social pressure against desisting.
Several AYAs expressed significant concern about the potential repercussions from their friend group when they concluded that they were not transgender after all. There were two unrelated cases with similar trajectories where the AYAs spent some significant time in a different setting, away from their usual friend group, without access to the internet. Parents described that these AYAs made new friendships, became romantically involved with another person, and during their time away concluded that they were not transgender. In both cases, the adolescents, rather than face their school friends, asked to move and transfer to different high schools. One parent said that their child, “…couldn’t face the stigma of going back to school and being branded as a fake or phony…. Or worse, a traitor or some kind of betrayer…[and] asked us if we could move.” In the other case, the parent relayed that their child thought none of the original friends would understand and expressed a strong desire to “…get out of the culture that ‘if you are cis, then you are bad or oppressive or clueless.’” Both families were able to relocate and both respondents reported that their teens have thrived in their new environments and new schools. One respondent described that their child expressed relief that medical transition was never started and felt there would have been pressure to move forward had the family not moved away from the peer group.
The subject matter of social contagion and peer influences is also covered in sections:
Social contagion and peer pressure
Why are so many females coming out as trans/non-binary?
E. Rights conflicts & safety concerns
Currently there are legal battles happening involving transgender youth in schools in the United States (and elsewhere) around where to place them in sex-segregated spaces.
The below quote demonstrates the current dilemmas posed to schools:
Francisco Negron Jr., chief counsel for the National School Boards Association, said the lack of clarity leaves school districts more vulnerable to lawsuits.In districts across the country, transgender students have sued for access to bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender they identify with. But other students, backed by conservative legal groups, have also sued to overturn policies that permit transgender students into bathrooms that align with their gender identity.
“What I think is less clear now in terms of the legal issues is exactly which is the right legal choice for school districts because the ultimate constitutional issues remain unresolved for the school districts,” Negron said. “Regardless of what action they take, they are liable to be sued by persons on both sides of this issue.
Trans youth, their parents, and LGBT organizations are pushing for policies for any youth to use the bathrooms, locker rooms, and participate on sports teams of the gender they identify with. They are claiming Title IX includes trans identified males to be included in female spaces and vice versa. This is due to their desire to redefine the meaning of biological male and biological female to be based on gender identity and to be defined as a spectrum across the two sexes, not based on chromosomes. Any resistance to this is framed as abusive, transphobic, and bigotry akin to racial segregation. An example below from the head of a trans youth support group in Britain:
Susie Green, CEO of the charity Mermaids, disagrees, saying the debate about single-sex toilets seems “engineered to whip up fear” and is equivalent to “arguing people of colour shouldn’t be allowed to use the same toilets as white people in case they make them dirty”.
And another trans rights activist:
“It is deeply distressing that the court passed up the chance to provide relief for this embattled group of students,” said Eliza Byard, executive director of the national Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. “I’m just afraid that today’s Supreme Court decision adds further confusion and provides some individuals with the perceived license to discriminate.”
Students walked out in protest when an MtF, who formally lived as a gay male, requested entry into female bathrooms and locker rooms. The student’s friend admirably wanted to provide moral support. It is a demonstration of the reality that trans youth may not be treated well at home, as the youth was sleeping at her house. They view the bathroom issue as further rejection.
She is choosing her life to better herself, to better accept herself,” said friend Gianna Warfel, 16. “I don’t know what there is to discriminate about that. I really support the bravery she has.
The below British example is fairly typical of material presented to school districts by trans activists. The material supports full integration for the benefit and comfort of the trans student. Students uncomfortable competing against males or with males in private spaces are considered the problematic student who needs to be removed from the situation.
The use of changing rooms by trans pupils and students should be assessed on a case- by-case basis in discussion with the trans pupils or student. The goal should be to maximise social integration and promote an equal opportunity to participate in physical education classes and sports, ensuring the safety and comfort, and minimising stigmatisation of the pupil or student.
Transgender/Trans – Umbrella terms used to describe people who are:
-Both male and female
-Neither male nor female
-A third gender
-Or who have a gender identity which we do not yet have words to describe
A degree of discussion, care and preparation is required to enable trans pupils and students to participate in residential trips. To exclude trans pupils and students from residential trips would be contravening the Equality Act.
As far as possible, trans pupils and students should be able to sleep in dorms appropriate to their gender identity. Some trans children and young people may not feel comfortable doing this and in such cases alternative sleeping and living arrangements should be made.
1) Scenario 1. My daughter doesn’t want a boy changing next to her, what if he looks at her body?
For example, in this scenario it would not be appropriate to remove the trans person from the changing rooms if a concern is raised by a parent or caregiver. In this situation, it would be far more appropriate to look at offering an alternative changing arrangement for the child who feels uncomfortable around the trans person. A Human Rights response would be to state that although the individual in question may have the body of a boy, they are in every other respect a girl and as such have the right under the Equality Act to change with the girls and to be treated fairly as such. It is the responsibility of members of staff to support both trans students and cisgender students to feel comfortable around one another.
1) Scenario 2. It’s not fair that he enters the 100 metres race for girls when he is a boy OR won’t she get injured playing rugby with boys?
Similarly, pupils or students who feel that a trans child should not be involved in certain sporting activities may themselves need to be supported to do a different activity. This kind of support acknowledges that some individuals may struggle to understand trans people or initially feel uncomfortable around them but does not support the idea that trans people should be treated any differently to cisgender people. The responsibility lies with the individual who has the problem, to deal with that problem, not with the trans person to accommodate that person’s insecurity around them or their child.
Another quote indicating schools are adopting this:
The new guidelines tell teachers that if a transgender pupil wishes to share a changing room with “other young people who share their gender identity”, they should be allowed to do so.
“There is no reason for parents or carers of the other pupils to be informed,” it adds.
The guidelines say young people should be able to compete in the sports events for the gender they identify with, and says if other pupils are uncomfortable using changing rooms or toilets with transgender pupils, they should use other facilities or wait until the transgender pupil is done.
Others feel this violates students’ rights to privacy and violates the rights of biological females to participate in fair sports. And with young people identifying with multiple gender identities and often without full medical transition, this can potentially create difficult situations for the school (see one example below).
A conservative site presents the perspective of students who are unhappy with converting a majority of bathrooms to be gender neutral for the comfort of trans and non-binary identified students. Liberal sites and mainstream news sites often do not like to discuss students’ concerns in their reports. In this scenario students are using stalls where cameras could be put under them. This is not a paranoid concern. There are many of these incidences reported in the news and it’s a society wide problem in South Korea. In these bathrooms girls can see boys eliminating into urinals and they have no privacy in using sanitary products in bathrooms shared with boys.
“The first day of school, when we all walked in and saw the bathrooms were gender neutral and everybody could go into the other gender’s bathroom, it was bizarre,” junior Graeme Gibson told Global News. “First, it was a shock, then everybody was like, ‘Why is this happening? What the heck is going on?’…”
Each gender-neutral bathroom has seven toilet stalls and three urinal stalls. The stalls have a gap at the bottom and at the top, and so they are not completely private…
Global News reported that some students are often late for class because of the long waiting lines for the gender-specific bathrooms…
Students have also discovered that “gender-neutral” bathrooms violate one’s privacy, especially girls’ privacy in changing tampons or pads. “I find it uncomfortable. I have other things to do than boys in there,” Jacey Taylor said. “You can hear it.”…
In just one week, half of the 680-member student body signed the petition. On November 8, it was presented to Sturgeon School Division trustees.
Student Evelyn Kostiniuk commented that the problem is privacy, and the current accommodations leave the school open to litigation. “We live in a world where a picture of a student in the washroom can ruin someone’s life and future,” she posted on the Facebook protest page. “These washrooms leave room for privacy violations and inevitably a lawsuit.”…
A conservative commentator views the bathroom issue concerns as a double standard favoring trans girls’/women’s’ needs at the expense of women and girls.
Secondly, privacy concerns take into account and legitimize the effects of privacy loss. R. v. Golden states that privacy loss can be “humiliating,” “degrading,” “demeaning,” “upsetting,” devastating,” or even be experienced as “visual rape.” Gender policy proponents are happy to claim these effects on behalf of transwomen should they have to use a male space. But if a female should claim these effects if bio-male transwomen were in their space, the effects are seen as illegitimate…
But as rights do not occur in a vacuum, they must be weighed against other concerns–usually other’s rights. Transwomen represent 0.3 percent or perhaps 0.4 percent of the population. Even if we imagine that only one-third of females would feel significant discomfort with biological males in their segregated spaces, that is still 17 percent of the population, some 42 times larger than the transwoman population. If we agree that consent in bodily privacy is important, it stands to reason we should be against policies that remove the right of consent from a much larger group in order to grant consent to a much smaller group.
Fortunately, there is a solution that upholds the consent of both groups. Policies dealing with privacy-related segregation should work towards ensuring that facilities have third spaces that are fully enclosed, lockable, and unisex. In many cases these are already present in the form of disabled or family spaces. Governments may need to pressure facilities to provide more if transgender individuals who have not yet had full sex-reassignment surgery should require them. If consent-privacy is truly a concern for gender policy advocates, they should embrace this solution. Anything else spells the death of consent, and with it, the death of privacy.
Below is a statement from a student not comfortable with new gender neutral and trans bathroom policies,
I don’t have a problem sharing a bathroom with someone who identifies as transgender — provided they are the same sex I am. I do have trouble with a policy that says anyone who’s in an opposite-sex mood today can stroll in and observe me in my intimate moments — and with school officials who value the feelings of a few students more than the dignity and privacy of all those in their care.
On Thursday, a federal appeals court refused to stop the school district from violating our privacy rights, so we’re considering our next steps. As one of my attorneys said after that decision, “The Supreme Court has already spoken: The real differences between men and women mean that privacy must be protected where it really counts, and that certainly includes high school locker rooms and restrooms.”
Trans people should be fully integrated into society based on how they feel about their gender and what is going to create the best quality of life and psychological functioning. And there also needs to be a discussion when that integration actually impacts other people in significant ways.People are arguing that biological females are having their rights to sex segregated environments destroyed. There have in fact been several incidences of trans women sexually acting out in women’s prisons and women’s homeless shelters or of males taking advantage of gender neutral bathrooms.
Trans women are also in reality dominating females in women’s sports. In this respect, the trans rights movement is unlike any other human rights movement in the last 200 years. In this situation, there is a rights dispute between some trans women and biological females, between the understandable, human desire to be integrated and a demand to acknowledge biological realities that impact girls and women when males can claim they are literally female.
Parents who are concerned about this see allowing males with gender dysphoria in female locker rooms and on female sports teams as boundary violations of their children. Parents of trans teens feel their child should have equal rights to participation that all other students have. This website does not seek to resolve all of these conflicts but to have an informed discussion of what the issues really are on both sides as they are often discussed in terms of superficiality and slogans.
What are the real issues here:
Dysphoric biological males in bathrooms & locker rooms
What are the issues trans people face in bathrooms pushing them to take this issue so seriously?
Trans people, as well as gender nonconforming people who are not trans, do face real harassment in bathrooms that should not be discounted. The effect of forcing trans people to use the bathrooms of the gender they do not identify with could be considered cruel and may put their safety at risk. Serious gender dysphoria is not a choice and refusing to support people living in the way that provides best psychological function is not humane. A school may be doing harm to a trans identified student by forcing them into same-sex bathrooms. Gender neutral options should be made available.
Here is a quote from a trans person about bathroom use indicating why there are strong feelings in the trans community around this.
"I get stared at, I've been spat at, I've been shouted at - 'transgender, tranny, transvestite'," says Morganna Snow.
Ms Snow, a transgender woman from Gloucester who has presented publicly as a woman for about three months, says she "more regularly than not" experiences abuse when she tries to use public toilets.
"It's clearly not safe to require somebody who presents as a woman to go into a men's toilet. The evidence is, from the cases that have happened, is that real assault takes place, real people get hurt."
Most feminist who question males in women’s segregated environments do not have an issue with bathroom use. Their concerns are more with nudity in locker rooms, and safety issues regarding women’s homeless shelters and prisons. Many feminists who question this support trans women who gave undergone bottom surgery and are on hormones and obtain legal recognition for this to be integrated into these spaces. This creates another problem of created and pro-cosmeticsurgery culture for trans people, promoting surgeries that can be risky and cause harm. It is a complicated issue for anyone who wishes to meet everyone’s wants and/or needs.
So, are trans girls a “threat” to females in private spaces?
To have a proper understanding of the issues at hand when discussing dysphoric young people in opposite sex spaces it is important to understand that gender dysphoria is not one thing. There are two main types of males with gender dysphoria, androphilic and autogynephilic or “late onset.” Androphilic MtFs are generally exclusively attracted to males. They tend to be extremely feminine, and represent likely all of the young males who start to transition at a young age, going on puberty blockers in stage Tanner 2.
The second type, autogynephilic males, are mostly heterosexual, but can be bisexual or asexual. Autogynephilia (AGP) is a paraphilia where the individual experiences sexual gratification and emotional fulfillment by seeing himself as a woman. It is considered an “erotic target location error.” This is not to paint the condition with judgement, it’s just a clinical term. It can range from milder symptoms that only involve fetishistic cross-dressing for eroticism or display or can be a deeper psychological need that causes the person intense misery for which medical transition seems to be the only thing that helps.
This diagnosis is very controversial. This isn’t because there isn’t a lot of evidence for autogynephilia. There is much evidence and many examples of males obviously acting out in autogynephilic ways can be found online and elsewhere. But MtFs attracted to women feel this characterization stigmatizes them. This fear is warranted as some feminists don’t trust any of these individuals existing in any sex-segregated space, even if they have fully medically transitioned. This makes their lives very difficult. Below are some articles that discuss the research on this topic.
Blanchard, R. 1985. Typology of male-to-female transsexualism. Arch Sex Behav 14(3): 247–61.
Blanchard, R. 1988. Nonhomosexual gender dysphoria. J Sex Res 24(2):188–93.
Blanchard, R. 1989a. The concept of autogynephilia and the typology of male gender dysphoria. J Nerv Ment Dis 177(10):616–23.
Blanchard, R. 1989b. The classification and labeling of nonhomosexual gender dysphorias. Arch Sex Behav18(4):315–34.
Blanchard, R. 1990. Gender identity disorders in adult men. In Clinical management of gender identity disorders in children and adults, ed. R. Blanchard and B. W. Steiner, 47–76. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.
Blanchard, R. 1993a. The she-male phenomenon and the concept of partial autogynephilia. J Sex Marital Ther19:69–76.
Blanchard, R. 1993b. Partial versus complete autogynephilia and gender dysphoria. J Sex Marital Ther 19:301–7.
Blanchard, R. 2000. Part II: The case for publicly funded transsexual surgery. Psychiatr Rounds 4(2):4–6.
Blanchard, R., L. H. Clemmensen, and B. W. Steiner. 1987. Heterosexual and homosexual gender dysphoria. Arch Sex Behav 16(2):139–52.
Bradley, S. J., Oliver, G. D., Chernick, A. B., and Zucker, K. J. 1998. Experiment of nurture: Ablatio penis at 2 months, sex reassignment at 7 months, and a psychosexual follow-up in young adulthood. Pediatr 102(1): E9.
Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES). 2006. Atypical gender development: A review. Int J Transgender 9(1):29–44.
Herman-Jeglínska, A., A. Grabowska, and S. Dulko. 2002. Masculinity, femininity, and transsexualism. Arch Sex Behav 31:527–34.
Lawrence, A. A. 1998. Men trapped in men’s bodies: An introduction to the concept of autogynephilia. Transgend Tapestry 1(85):65–68.
Lawrence, A. A. 1999a. 28 narratives about autogynephilia. http://www.annelawrence. com/agnarratives.html.
Lawrence, A. A., 1999b. 31 new narratives about autogynephilia. http://www.annelawrence.com/31narratives.html.
Lawrence, A. A. 2005. Sexuality before and after male-to-female sex reassignment surgery. Arch Sex Behav34:147–66.
Lawrence, A. A. 2006. Clinical and theoretical parallels between desire for limb amputation and gender identity disorder. Arch Sex Behav 35(3):263–78.
Lawrence, A. A. 2007a. Becoming what we love: Autogynephilic transsexualism conceptualized as an expression of romantic love. Perspect Biol Med 50(4):506–20.
While erotic cross-dressing or erotic associations in more severe autogynophiles is a reality, it is not correct to paint it all as a superficial fetish. AGP can involve feelings of emotion and attachment beyond sexuality. Some may not have a strong erotic component at all due to not having a strong sex drive. AGPs may transition very late in life and transition can also significantly reduce sex drive, proving that a sexual motivation is not primary in many cases.
While some feminists and more conservative individuals have taken a hard line that no biological males should be in female spaces, most people across the political spectrum are more concerned with males who are autogynephilic and heterosexual with regards to biological sex. AGPs in the past have rarely presented with GD as teens. In the past they have rarely transitioned as teenager, but more appear to be coming out at earlier ages, as the sexual orientation profiles for trans youth are changing. In adult populations studies often show a majority of trans women in adult populations are AGP rather than “homosexual transsexual.”
A trans girl who has been dysphoric from a young age, is attracted to males, has been on hormone blockers, and is taking estrogen is unlikely to create boundary violation issues by being sexually attracted to females. The trans girl would be like most girls, attracted to boys and hormonally similar to them due to medical transition. This doesn’t necessarily mean all girls would be comfortable with this. Some may be, some may not be. It also doesn’t mean sexual exploration in a situation involving an overnight trip is impossible. puberty blockers to cross-sex hormones causes sterility but if the male student had never been on puberty blockers they could be fertile. Cross-sex hormones have also been known to alter sexual orientation, so the effect of this on males transitioning at young ages is unknown. Any chance of a pregnancy occurring in this scenario would be a legal liability for the school even if it is very unlikely to happen.
Autogynephilia, and now the pushing of multiple gender identities, makes integrating males with gender dysphoria more complicating than integrating dysphoric homosexual males. Since in the past most AGPs transitioned later in life, it is likely most of the trans youth in schools are of the homosexual variety. However, as with young females, research indicates young males with AGP may be coming out younger as well. So, it is possible that a male with GD requesting integration into female spaces may be of this variety. In this case, you have a male, sexually attracted to females, who may be sexually aroused by the act of cross-dressing and sexually aroused at the idea of other people seeing him as a girl/woman. This male could be fertile and policies are being instituted where parents don’t have a right to know a student’s biological sex on an overnight trip, only their gender identity. In this scenario, there are different types of questions to answer as to whether or not this is appropriate.
Although the issue of dysphoric females in boy segregated environments is over all less triggering to the public, there are possible safety issues involving females in male environments such as locker rooms or on school trips. Schools cannot risk any assaults or pregnancies happening due to adults not segregating students based on biological realities. They would be legally liable for any harm to FtMs that resulted from them being in isolation with male students. Preventing this is objectively more important than validation of feelings of gender. There is also the issue of boys’ discomfort deserving to be taken into consideration as nudity requires consent. Also placing an FtM, hormonally the same as teenage boys in female spaces obviously poses problems for the FtM student and the female students.
Regardless of how these situations are handled we do not support a narrative of the trans student being stigmatized or shamed for who they are. It is only that these situations need to be dealt with realistically, and not based on political activism, whether it’s feminist activism or trans activism or religious activism or any other activism.
As sex-positive, gender identity positive, and tolerant and accepting as most LGBT friendly people may want to be, a positive accepting outlook is not necessarily going to prevent sexual boundary violations of biological females or of FtMs, which is the issue of utmost importance. Nor have gender neutral spaces been proven to be perfectly safe for females.
Why, discuss these possibilities?
There have already been multiple examples of incidences involving trans women and males in spaces involving females. Males are significantly more likely to engage in sexual boundary violating acts and to have paraphilias, such as voyeurism, than females. Making everything gender neutral also appears to put women at higher risk for sexual incidences
Just under 90 per cent of complaints regarding changing room sexual assaults, voyeurism and harassment are about incidents in unisex facilities.
Below are several examples of incidences reported publically. This is not to paint trans people as a threat, to argue they don’t deserve safe places, or to try to solve the issue of bathroom use in schools. It is merely to point out that problems have arisen and people are not justified in dismissing concerns expressed by females (and men who support them) when there are multiple examples of real world incidence of voyeurism and sexual assault, the very thing they fear.
There is a tendency to claim incidences involving males in female environments were pretending to be trans. This is not always true. And this also highlights another problem, who is really trans? Where is the line with concepts of gender fluidity and multiple gender identities/pronouns now being promoted through gender programs in schools?
The purpose of listing these incidences in female and gender-neutral environments is not to say these things are likely to happen with trans student in schools. It’s to demonstrate that when people argue there could be inappropriate incidences in school, they are basing it on the fact that inappropriate incidences have actually happened elsewhere:
1) “…Taylor Buehler, a man who was arrested in 2012 after entering a women’s bathroom at Everett Community College in Washington state dressed in a bra and wig. He claimed that he was just there to use the facilities, but under police questioning, Buehler ‘admitted to officers that he was the suspect in an earlier voyeurism incident … [in which] he took a shower in the girls’ locker room for sexual gratification.’”
2) “…Norwood Smith Burnes, a 51-year-old Rome, Ga., man who was arrested for undressing in front of children in a Walmart women’s room. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Burnes was wearing a short skirt, high heels, red nail, polish, and green eye shadow and was found in ‘stages of undress . . . in the presence of several young children.’ After his arrest, the paper said, police discovered that he “had a long record of indecent exposure and was on probation for public indecency.”
3) “...in 2012, the province of Ontario changed its Human Rights Code to bar discrimination against anyone because of ‘gender identity’ or ‘gender expression’ — giving anyone who claimed to be transgender the legal right to use women-only facilities. That allowed Christopher Hambrook to dress like a woman and sign into several Toronto area women’s shelters, where he sexually assaulted women seeking refuge from domestic violence. Police later discovered that he had been convicted in Montreal of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl and a mentally challenged 27-year-old woman. He was not transgender; he was a sex predator pretending to be transgender. But nobody dared to question him, because to do so would have been a violation of his ‘human rights.’”
4) “Last year, after Washington state passed a law opening public bathrooms to transgender people, a man walked into the women’s changing room at a Seattle public pool and began undressing while young girls were changing for swim practice. He wasn’t even dressed like a woman. When staff asked the man to leave, he told them ‘the law has changed and I have a right to be here.’ The flummoxed staff did not even call police.”
This person was likely being provocative but it demonstrates the lack of safe boundaries around who can enter these facilities.
5) “A predatory sex offender who dressed as a female and entered the women's locker room at North Clackamas Aquatic Park was sentenced Tuesday to nine months in jail.
Thomas Lee Benson, who was convicted of sexually abusing children 17 years ago, has a long history of dressing as a female and using women's dressing areas.”
6) An assault of a girl in the bathroom of a private home by a trans women
7) Two women in a homeless shelter were sexually harassed by a trans woman in California and they are suing.
tThe women say they repeatedly complained to staff members, but were told if they didn't respect the person's decision to identify as a woman, and if they refused to take showers at the same time, they'd get kicked out of the shelter.
…Leaders in the Valley's transgender community tell us this is a nightmare for them too because if someone who calls herself a transgender woman is sexually harassing people, she put an already marginalized community in a bad light.
Karen Adell Scot, a local transgender advocate, even offered to train Naomi's House employees on how to recognize people just pretending to identify as the opposite gender.
This issue highlights the difficulties created when there is no clear criteria businesses and charities can adhere to when determining who is really trans.
8) An MtF exhibited sexual boundary violations against four women immediately after being transferred to a women’s prison.
9) A similar prison story here involved a violent sex offender.
10) More prison incidences
“The Plaintiffs have been forced to share intimate facilities with men, who allege they are women,” the Feb. 15 complaint states. “These men openly express their sexual desire for the women inmates, at times, in the showers, and bathrooms, while women are naked or partially clothed.
11) “‘Richard Rodriguez, 30, filmed a woman in a bathroom stall at the Potomac Mills Mall, Prince William County Police said,’ reported NBC Washington. His victim was a 35-year-old woman who was in a bathroom stall when “she saw a bag moved toward her under the stall divider.’ According to police, Rodriguez had been filming her…Apparently, when the victim rushed out of the stall to confront the man, he had already moved to another woman just one stall over. ‘The victim alerted the woman and then contacted mall security of the shopping center on 2700 block of Potomac Mills Circle in Woodbridge, Virginia,’ noted NBC Washington…Reports suspect that this was not Rodriguez’s first time peeping on women by dressing himself up as woman to enter a restroom; disturbingly, he likely spied on a 53-year-old woman in May of 2015 and a 35-year-old and her 5-year-old daughter back in October.”
12) “Pomare reportedly disguised himself with a wig and fake breasts; he kept his video camera with him in a small purse…The suspect ‘was charged Tuesday with six counts of unlawful use of a concealed camera for purposes of sexual gratification. After his arrest, investigators said a video camera found in his purse had 'hours' of video of women using the restroom inside the store,’ reports NBC4 News.”
13) GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) - A man dressed in a women's clothing and a wig was arrested after Greenville Police say he recorded a woman in the bathroom from an adjacent stall…According to police, 38-year-old Shawn Thomas Hallett, from Texas, has been charged with Voyeurism after he recorded video of at least one woman in the bathroom the QuikTrip on Academy Street.
14) Turning sex segregated showers into gender neutral showers created the opportunity for 2 voyeurs to film female students showering. They have now had to stop this practice:
Two women showering in Whitney Hall, a residence at U of T's University College, reported they saw a cellphone reach over the shower-stall dividers in an attempt to record them, in two different incidents, police Const. Victor Kwong told The Toronto Star.
15) This study isn’t peer reviewed but Targets gender neutral policy may have greatly increased incidences of voyeurism.
Results: Sexual incidents increased over the course of the entire timeframe of the media reports. In particular, voyeurism-related offenses (Upskirt and Peeping Tom) increased significantly after the publication of Target’s gender-inclusion policy in April, 2016. The three-season forced-category measurement found a 2.3x increase in the amount of upskirt incidents after the policy, and a 2.9x increase in peeping tom incidents after the policy. In a Poisson regression, using trimesters to control for seasonal variations in offenses, the fold change in rate from the four year pre-policy period to the post-policy period was 3.03 for Upskirt and 3.14 for Peeping Tom. Using a two year pre-policy period, the rate change was 2.16 times for Upskirt and 2.34 times for Peeping Tom.
16) Severe abuse and sexual assaults happen frequently to girls in some third world countries in places like bathrooms. Feminist activists there are working to increase the number of sex segregated spaces to deal the reality of male violence they are facing, not working to make everything gender neutral. The culture in western countries is different but it demonstrates the reality of why society has decided to isolate females and males in enclosed areas. This is also why FtMs safety needs to be held of the utmost importance as well.
This is a comment about male sexuality that is relevant since in some schools they are actually integrating the sexes in bathroom areas, not just allowing trans students who have medically transitioned to use the spaces they are comfortable with.
Which brings us to the unavoidable conclusion arrived at by most mental health experts: When we are talking about harmful sexual disorders, we are talking about a phenomenon that occurs predominantly in men.
When compared (in general) to female sexuality, there’s more moreness to male sexuality, and therefore more potential for it to go amiss. It’s popular in certain circles to assert that differences between the sexes are a construct, but the people I spoke to who deal with sexually troubled patients cautioned against ignoring the very real biological differences that do exist. Of course cultural forces greatly shape behavior, and generalizations will always be subject to dispute. But if we want to understand sexual misconduct, we must also acknowledge the places where our sexual wiring diverges.
There have already been incidences with trans students involving mixing genders in school bathrooms: it is not a total “non-issue” as it is often portrayed as by activists.
1) The worst incident involved the sexual assault of an FtM by male students in a boys’ bathroom. This demonstrates that FtMs are not necessarily safe from sexual assault from boys.
The 15-year-old student, who is biologically female but identifies as male, told officers he was leaving a boy's bathroom late Monday morning at Hercules Middle/High School when the assailants pushed him inside a large stall and attacked him, Hercules police Detective Connie Van Putten said.
2) This school had turned a faculty bathroom into a gender-neutral bathroom. They had to reverse this decision because students were sexually acting out in it. (This link has been taken down, possibly for political reasons)
3) Here was a sexual encounter involving a trans student:
The bathroom-use rules at the district middle school changed recently after a sexual encounter between two students -- including one who is transgender -- in a bathroom after school, parents and social media posts claimed, but Delsea administrators wouldn't give a reason, citing confidentiality rules.
Authorities said they were investigating allegations that a male student inappropriately touched a female student during school hours on May 14. The alleged incident took place in a former boys' bathroom that was designated "all-gender" in 2016 after students campaigned and petitioned for the change.
Schools should not be turning bathrooms into gender neutral spaces based on the petitions of teenagers. Teenagers do not have the life experience or capacity of risk assessment that adults do. The school must prove gender neutral bathrooms are safe for female students which multiple accounts provided below and in the section above seem to demonstrate that they at times are not.
5) A school is being sued because of allegations that a trans girl acted out in sexually inappropriate ways in female segregated areas.
Alliance Defending Freedom alleges Student X engaged in inappropriate and sexually suggestive behavior – leaving some girls in tears.
Among the allegations:
-Student X commented on girls’ bodies while in the girls’ locker room, including asking Girl Plaintiff F about her bra size and asking her to “trade body parts” with him;
-Student X danced to loud music with sexually explicit lyrics while twerking, grinding and lifting up his skirt to reveal his underwear;
-Student X would dance in a sexually explicit manner “dancing like he was on a stripper pole” to songs with suggestive lyrics including “Milkshake” by Kelis.
The school told girls who felt uncomfortable they should consider using a secondary locker room in the basement of the elementary school.
“Plaintiff B and nearly half the junior varsity squad changed in the secondary locker room in hope that their privacy would not be violated,” the lawsuit states”.
6) One school was forced to cope with news media regarding a female in a skirt who identifies as non-binary, who had boys post a picture of what looked like a gender conforming girl in the bathroom on social media. The school provided the student with a faculty bathroom that the student refused to use.
7) A 12–year-old MtF was accused of peeping under the stall while using the girls’ bathroom after being offered a staff bathroom. It’s not known if this is true.Unacceptable threats of violence were made against the child. This is an example of the public outrage that schools can expect to receive around any boundary violations in regards to their daughters. If they do occur, schools can expect to be sued.
Maddie had been using the staff bathroom at her old school but used the girls’ bathroom at the new school because she wasn’t sure where the staff bathroom was. She was then accused of peeping under a bathroom stall. Her mother said it was probably because she “leans very far forward to use the bathroom.”
Here is a story regarding the treatment of girls and parents in schools who object to these bathroom and locker room policies.
“Everyone is very angry about it.
“Some of the girls don’t want to use the toilets because the boys make a mess and some are even refusing to go at home.
“It is ridiculous.”
“I just cannot believe the head teacher and the governors brought this in without saying anything.”
Gender neutral facilities are being introduced to promote 'inclusivity' for transgender people but many have expressed concern that this compromises female safety.
In a statement issued to parents today, Friday, the board of governors said: "In September, the school removed the gender designation of the toilet blocks in key stage two.
"There has been no change in KS1 or early years which were already gender neutral. This was a decision of the board of governors following a long and detailed discussion about this.
Your 13-year-old daughter tells a teacher that’s she’s uncomfortable with her body. She prefers trousers to skirts, football to ballet. She says she thinks she’s a he and wants to be treated as a boy at school. Would the teacher tell you your daughter wants to change gender?
Your 11-year-old granddaughter comes home from school upset. Changing after gym, another girl stood watching her undress and playing with her penis. (The girl in question is transgender, so yes, she has a penis.) When your family complains to the school, what happens?
In the first case, no, the teacher wouldn’t tell you. ‘All people, including children and young people, have a right to privacy… Staff should not disclose information that may reveal a pupil’s trans status to others, including parents.’ In the second, it’s not the girl with a penis who has a problem, it’s the girl without one. She and her parents have wrongly assumed the child with the penis is ‘not a real girl’. That error should be ‘challenged through training and awareness raising’ so your granddaughter is comfortable with her classmate.
These cases are real. So are the responses, which come from the Allsorts Trans Inclusion Schools Toolkit, guidelines for school staff developed with Brighton and Hove City Council and used, in different forms, by several dozen councils in England and Wales. It is unsurprising that schools want guidance on how to deal with children describing themselves as transgender, since more and more seem to be doing so
Are girls expected to enter a cubicle and be charged with having to wipe down a toilet seat with toilet paper to get rid of the urine and then be forced to make direct skin contact with the toilet seat when they sit down? I can’t imagine how incredibly unsanitary that situation will be, not to mention absolutely disgusting.
A quote in support of gender neutral options:
I’ve a son who goes to a different co-ed school, with a transgender pupil in his year. His school doesn’t have mixed WCs. Instead there are a couple of single disabled toilets that can be used by everyone — much more sensible.
Talking of boys, I asked my daughter how her male counterparts felt about the new loos. “They’re pervs,” she joked. “They’re delighted. They’ll probably drill holes in the walls.”
The weeks passed and my daughter — along with others who were unhappy with the new loos — kept complaining, but their complaints fell on deaf ears. They were told to put up and shut up and think of others. As a parent, this felt wrong. Did only the transgender voice matter? What about my daughter’s voice? Shouldn’t both be listened to?
My daughter saw red. She started a petition for boys, girls and gender-neutrals to sign. Hundreds did. She insisted that a school council meeting be held and unisex toilets discussed. They were. And you know what? Eventually hers and other unhappy voices were listened to. And against the odds the toilets were quietly changed back to how they had been, with a smaller provision of unisex toilets kept for those who choose to use them.
A comment on a blogpost:
I've written to The Times as follows:
Re: your article about a school that introduced so-called gender-neutral toilets, the mother was right to complain. Perhaps you could point out that UNESCO has urged governments to ensure that single-sex toilets are available. They're concerned at the number of girls who miss school during their period, due to embarrassment and for practical reasons. What's true for co-educational schools in developing countries is also true for schools here in the UK, and if you care to investigate you'll find that in the US and Canada, where gender-neutral facilities are all the rage, incidents of voyeurism have increased dramatically.
Summary of bathroom issues:
1) It is true that it is impractical to force trans students who have transitioned into the bathrooms that don’t align with their gender identity and presentation. Schools risk lawsuits from trans activists if they don’t respect the student’s gender identity
2) Trans girls may be at risk in isolated boy segregated environments.
3) FtMs or “non-binary” females are at risk for sexual harassment or even sexual assault in boys’ bathrooms risking their safety and lawsuits for schools.
4) A trans student has been accused of acting out in sexually inappropriate ways in a girls’ locker room and now the school is facing a lawsuit.
5) Gender neutral spaces violate the privacy of girls who need to use sanitary products and puts them at risk of camera voyeurism incidences, which would be devastating for the student. It may also put schools at risk for lawsuits. Bathrooms with urinals and open stalls should not be gender neutral.
6) Sexual interactions can happen in gender neutral bathrooms or with trans youth in opposite-sex bathrooms putting schools at risk for lawsuits.
7) Trans women and males have violated sexual boundaries of women in female areas.
8) Trans people have received harassment around bathroom use in both same gender and opposite gender bathrooms.
9) It is not appropriate to leave the decision of integrating sexually dimorphic males and females in sex segregated spaces to teenagers. Teenagers do not have the capacity for risk assessment. And teenage girls are notoriously eager to please others. They often have poor boundaries around advocating for themselves. This shouldn’t be encouraged by an social justice activist environment. They can also suffer serious verbal abuse at the hands of activists or social punishing if they publically object, making true free speech impossible.
10) Adults should not provoke conflict, dramatic confrontations, or moral panic around this topic. This creates a psychologically harmful environment for trans youth that will make them feel shunned and increase the likelihood of suicide ideation.
There have been several examples of problems arising from both integrating gender dysphoric male in female environments or from creating gender neutral spaces. Given these real world examples it is reasonable argue that well-meaning schools are prioritizing identity validation (in the interest of emotional well-being) over physical safety. This includes the safety of FtMs in male environments.
Given violating the sexual safety of students would be a major break of the public trust, schools should be held accountable for any sexual boundary violation that results from mixing the biological sexes through trans policies or by creating gender neutral bathrooms.
Trans activists argue isolating trans students in separate bathrooms/changing areas amounts to unjust shunning and emotional abuse. But this is all in the framing. If it is framed in terms of the trans students’ and everyone else’s safety from physical harm or harassment being paramount, then safety, not exclusion is the issue, as it should be.
No parent, trans activist, LGBT organization, feminist organization, right-wing religious organization, or school official should do anything to create a climate of moral panic around trans youth. Creating hysteria that concerns raised by parents amount to hate of trans people or creating hysteria that trans students are a threat should be avoided at all costs. Neither is fair or appropriate. Adults should model calm, rational solutions or it is young people who will be hurt.
MtFs on female sports teams
Across the adult female sports world, trans women are taking first place positions and breaking female’s records (covered below). This will be a new norm with the placing of gender dysphoric males on females’ sports teams.
While dysphoric males put on a puberty blocker protocol are likely to be smaller and more physically similar to a girl they are also putting MtFs on female sports teams if they are post puberty and even if they have normal testosterone levels for a male because they have not fully transitioned yet. This gives them a very significant biological advantage. People for and against this in the United States are arguing over human rights afforded under Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex. Trans activists believe Title IX should pertain to gender identity, not chromosomes. An example of the trans activist position below:
“A transgender girl is a girl and ought to be treated like a girl,” Erin Buzuvis, the law professor who is the director of the Center of Gender and Sexuality Studies at Western New England College, told the Courant. “If you start to put limitations or exclusions on their participation, not only do you run the risk of violating state anti-discrimination law but also you are disregarding and disrespecting a population of students based on a core aspect of their identity, which is something that schools should not be in the practice of doing.
“I understand that it appears to many people as an inequitable playing field, but they don’t have any context or knowledge about how that athlete’s life would be if she weren’t transgender. And it would be possible she’d be beating their daughters if she was cisgender (someone who identifies with their birth sex).”
It should be noted the argument in the last paragraph is that Title IX should be abolished as protecting biological females’ physical reality due to a desired imagined reality.
This comment that this will completely unravel Title IX and biological females as a cohort and class.
In numerous criminal law and correctional contexts, courts have found a Fourteenth Amendment fundamental right to privacy from the opposite sex viewing Americans’ nude bodies. Equally important, Title IX treats the use of private facilities by members of the opposite sex as sexual harassment, since it exposes people of one sex to the unwanted presence of the other sex. Title IX’s protections arose out of concerns about anatomical differences between the sexes; the notion of a “gender identity” separate from bodily sex would have confounded the law’s framers.
Indeed, the whole edifice of Title IX protections would collapse if the sex binary—objective, anatomical, tied to human biology—were to give way to the fluid and ever-shifting categories of gender identity, which flow from mental states. It would be a strange and bitter irony if a law enacted to protect the female sex in public settings were to be reinterpreted by the courts in such a way as to destroy biological sex as a legally meaningful concept.
A commentator on this issue from a woman who had gender dysphoria as a girl:
So feasibly with the language of gender identity we could have two teams, one that’s meant to be for biological males and one that’s meant to be for biological females or women both completely occupied by males. (1:23-1:35)
This scenario has in fact happened. In Iran, due to Islamic attitudes toward homosexually they force homosexual men to medically transition. It was discovered that the Iranian football (soccer) team was over 50% biological males.
Below are other cases of males with gender dysphoria competing on female sports teams and beating females in many cases.
This person broke a woman’s leg in one game which calls into question the safety of this as a practical matter.
Another woman in MMA had her skull broken in by an MtF trans person:
“I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because she was born a man or not because I’m not a doctor. I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right… I still disagree with Fox fighting. Any other job or career I say have a go at it, but when it comes to a combat sport I think it just isn’t fair.” – Tamika Brents said.
Many women are adamantly opposed to girls and women’s sports being opened up to biological males. School systems seem willing to completely ignore the ways this could negatively impact 50% of the population. These arguments should not be discounted especially when they are backed up by realities supported by kinesiology and physiology. The scenarios that play out in public school systems have wider implications for girls and women in society in general.
A list of trans women dominating women’s sports competition:
While schools have an obligation to allow trans students to participate in sports, the displacement of biological females in favor dysphoric males will happen. This will be regardless of where they are in their medical transition. There is the belief that once a male is off of testosterone and on estrogen replacement that this erases all biological advantages. There are differences in both the prepubertal and post pubertal bodies of males versus females that will not be eliminated by blocking testosterone. The website Fairplayforwomen.com covers some physiological differences between males and females.
More discussion of the differences between males and females are discussed in “Transgender Sports: Men and Women Have Physical Differences That No Surgery or Hormone Treatment Can Change”:
Testosterone plays a big role in athletic performance. But when we start talking about high-performance competition, especially in track and field, small variations make all the difference. These go well beyond testosterone…
Hip Structure and Center of Mass
Some differences can’t be changed, even with surgery and hormone treatments.
One of the major differences between male and female runners is the hip structure along with everything attached to hip movement. It’s not just a matter of having wide or narrow hips. A key difference is the ratio between hip width and femur length. Women tend to have a greater hip width-to-femur length ratio, which leads to greater hip adduction — that is, movement toward the center of the body. This difference has a domino effect that results in small differences in joint rotation and muscle recruitment.
Men also tend to have more fast-twitch muscles than women. According to experts this isn’t something that can change with training. Fast-twitch muscles are what you want for sprinting because they help you explode off the starting line. They also help produce the kind of “anaerobic” energy you need for sprinting. Slow-twitch muscles are good for conserving energy. They’re the kind of muscles you want in a distance race.
Testosterone also doesn’t erase statistical advantages biological males have over females in, height, weight, lung capacity, and heart size, all of which are advantages in many sports. Biological males can reach their full height sometimes by age 16…
Of course elite athletes are by definition outside the norm. But there’s something wrong when half of the population has an inherent disadvantage. If biological males can compete against biological females, it won’t be long, especially in elite sports, before males win all the races and hold all the records.
Here a New Zealand scientist comments on the differences between males and females after a trans woman won first place in a women’s weightlifting division in, “Professor of physiology says transgender athletes have advantage in speed, power.”
Heather believes there is a potential muscle memory effect for Hubbard, having competed previously as a man.
She said the increased numbers of myonuclei (muscle fibres) could potentially allow Hubbard's muscles to train better than if she had not previously been a male.
"Also, whether hormone therapy has reduced the larger skeletal muscle fibre area of her previous male physique is questionable…
"I don't know what the solution is, but right now it is not fair on CIS females competing against transgender women."
This article has many examples of the biological differences between males and females. Many of these differences do not change if a male becomes castrated and takes estrogen, which isn’t even the case in the recent routings by MtFs of females in Massachusetts or of males recently allowed to compete in the Boston Marathon based on declaration of gender alone, no medical transition. Below is a chart showing how males build muscle mass versus females.
There will in the future be more trans girls who will be more similar physically to females due to hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones. But if this is factored into decisions, schools will be expected to determine what males can compete against females and what males can’t. This will not be practical.
Conversely, girls are also being forced to compete with other females who are injecting testosterone due to transitioning FtM. This is despite the fact that if a female student were doping with even a drastically lower amount of testosterone they would be disqualified because it gives a huge unfair advantage. FtMs likely should compete against males for the most even playing field. They will likely not dominate biological males in boys’ sports due to biological realities. FtMs are rarely beating men in adult sports the way trans women are beating women.
There could be ways to have trans students exercise and participate without destroying females’ ability to compete on an even playing field but no one is considering solutions like that. Trans girls could compete with males if they have not transitioned hormonally. They could be given the option to run against females to achieve their personal best but due to issues of fairness, be disqualified from officially placing. If not this issue boils down to,
1) Keep rules separating students by biological sex as was the original intention of Title IX, and find other ways to include trans students without destroying females access to opportunities to rank.
2) Allow males who have gender dysphoria on female sports teams who are perhaps .3% of the population and disallow 50% of the population to participatate on a level playing field within their own biological sex, reduce their ability place in higher rankings against biological gender dysphoric males and reducing the number of college scholarships they will be able to receive. In short support the gender identity of .3% of the population or support the biological reality of 50% of the population.
Males with gender dysphoria allowed on female teams will often have a biological advantage and will result in displacement biological females. The decision has been made in these cases that the school systems values supporting gender identity over the ability to access an even playing field and the feelings of the now displaced girls. In this way trans rights are unlike any other human rights movement.
No other civil rights movement displaces another group. A school official makes a very naive statement regarding this issue:
Asked about the two girls who worked for years who got knocked out of the finals by Miller and Yearwood and the two girls who finished seventh and eighth in the finals who were denied a chance to compete in the New England championships, CIAC executive director Karissa Niehoff said, “We do feel for them. Fully agree it doesn’t feel good. The optic isn’t good. But we really do have to look at the bigger issues that speak to civil rights and the fact this is high school sports.”
This issue goes far beyond high school sports. Biological females have lost the ability to compete on a truly even playing field with other females in major adult arenas such a weightlifting, volleyball, cycling, mixed martial arts, and soccer. Some of these situations have endangered the female athletes. One MMA athlete had her skull broken by Fallon Foxand another trans woman seeking a spot on a female team, who is much larger than the average female has already broken a woman’s leg. The Boston Marathon now allows trans women to compete even without hormonal transition. The Olympics will allow biological males as long as their T levels are within a certain range. The battle in schools is not just about high school. The goal is not just to include the trans girls on a high school sports. The goal is to acclimate the biological females from a young age to the idea that they deserve to have their positions displaced in sports and for scholarships by gender dysphoric biological males.
Coaches see this as unjust. Coaches understand the biological advantage but are afraid, like parents, and other competitors, to speak out.
Hillhouse coach Gary Moore told Hearst Connecticut Media that Miller should be able to compete, but the situation “wasn’t fair to the girls,” adding, something should be done to “level the playing field.” He stated, “I’ve been stopped by at least five coaches, all of them saying they really liked what I said in the paper. How come other coaches aren’t talking? This is a big issue a lot of coaches have, that we’ve got to do something, but how come you’re not saying anything? I’ve said what I needed to say. I’m getting a little annoyed with the coaches that we haven’t been able to get together and do what’s best for everybody.”
Trans women who feel a need to respect female segregated environments
There is a small but vocal movement of trans women who do not feel trans women should displace biological females in sports. For example, the below letter was signed by 16 trans women regarding the law being changed to allow any person to self-ID as the gender they wish in the UK. This affects more than sports but their sentiments cover everything and demonstrate the are differing opinions within the trans community.
We are transsexual people deeply concerned about the proposed removal of safeguards from the Gender Recognition Act. Replacing the evidenced-based process for obtaining a gender recognition certificate with an over-the-counter style self-declaration blurs the distinction between us and transgender people who remain physically intact. This is problematic when such male-bodied people, including sexual fetishists, demand the rights afforded to women as a protected sex, including access to their private spaces.
Transsexual people undergo a meaningful transition, including hormone therapy and surgery. We fear that these proposals will not only put women’s rights at risk but also damage our credibility in society. We are already seeing our right to define as “transsexual” being challenged by transgender activists who seek to remove this distinction. We call on politicians to show courage and facilitate dialogue valuing all affected groups. We absolutely condemn all attempts to suppress this debate.
Jamie Shupe is a biological male who transitioned MtF and now identifies as nonbinary. Jamie Shupe and believes in creating a movement where trans people see themselves a third gender who deserve societal support and integration but this should not negatively impact females.
Parental rights concerns regarding gender & name changes at school
There has been a widespread adoption of gender ideology based on postmodern queer theory in schools in all western countries. These theories promote the concept that gender is what you say it is and that it is a spectrum. This is done without any understanding of how this may affect children, how it may affect desistance rates from gender dysphoria, and with no research supporting a “multiple genders” view of society is ultimately making society a better place.
Parents have had no say in the adopting of these gender trainings despite a lack of solid scientific backing for gender ideology.
The Scottish government supports a new classroom resource that tells primary school children that they may consider themselves to be a boy, a girl, or neither. ‘You know who you are,’ it explains.
Where are the parents in all of this? They are often not told if their child is worried about their gender. During my training, we were told to avoid ‘outing’ potential transgender children to their families. If the child so wished, we might want to keep mummy and daddy out of the loop. Un-believably, this is in line with Scottish government guidelines.
Due to the understandable desire to protect trans youth who may not have support at home activists have attempted to push school policies that hide information about the trans identified student from parents.
Those working professionally in school settings, child welfare, residential and other services should be aware of the risks facing trans youth whose parents are unsupportive of their gender expression and identity. These youth face significant and life-threatening risk factors, directly related to lacking support at home. Teachers, service providers and administrators may lack the knowledge or skill to intervene in situations where trans youth are being bullied, and some may wrongly assume that these youth will find the support they need at home. This may not be the case. Indeed, our data suggest that parents, in many cases, are not supportive, leaving youth to fend for themselves, possibly increasing their feelings of alienation, abandonment and despair. With such high rates of suicidal ideation and actual suicide attempts among trans youth, anything that adversely impacts their mental health will be detrimental. The presence of an active Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) in a school is an important and crucial resource for trans youth, and may serve to meet some of their needs. Studies, however, show that trans youth often feel alienated in GSAs as the strong focus on gay and lesbian experience may not adequately address the reality and needs of trans youth.
If a child is so endangered at home it begs the question why the school would not call Child Protective Services (or similar entity in other countries).
Parents have resisted these changes successfully in Delaware:
Susan Bunting, secretary of the Department of Education, made that change and others after reviewing more than 11,000 comments – most in opposition about the parental notification provision of the proposed policy. Beyond changing the transgender provision that was drafted by a panel of educators, parents and advocates she appointed, Bunting also:
-Removed a provision that allowed students to play on the sports teams that “is consistent” with their gender identity.
-Changed the intent of the initiative from a model policy that all districts would be encouraged to adopt to a document aimed at providing “guidance to assist school districts and charter schools in creating an anti-discrimination policy.”…
Under the policy change instituted by Bunting, “a school shall request permission from the parent or legal guardian before accommodating a request by a minor student’’ to use a different name … If the student does not permit the school to request permission from the parent or legal guardian, then the request to take action shall not be accepted.”
Similar conflicts are happening in Great Britain:
Ministers are facing a legal challenge over guidance that teachers in Scotland should allow primary school pupils to switch gender identity without seeking parental consent.
A story about the United States:
In 2016, the National Education Association issued guidance for schools in conjunction with the Human Rights Campaign and other activist groups. The guidance stipulates that when students have parents who don’t agree with immediate affirmation of a trans identity, schools should step in. According to the report, “the school and student should determine how to proceed through the collaborative process of figuring out how the school can support the student and balance the student’s need to be affirmed at school with the reality that the student does not have that support at home.”
In practice, many schools have informal policies whereby any request on the part of a student for a change in name or pronouns is immediately granted without any discussion with parents. In my work consulting with parents of teens who have adopted a trans identity out of the blue without any prior history of gender dysphoria, I hear frequently that the child has been affirmed at school without parental input.
In one case, a family whose daughter was in the midst of gender exploration at home asked me to have a conversation with an administrator at their daughter’s private school. In a phone conversation with the head of the upper school, I shared my concerns about social contagion and poor outcomes in teen girls who appear to have developed rapid onset gender dysphoria (ROGD). I asked whether he might consider having a conversation with parents when a student came to school administrators asking for name and pronoun changes. “We can’t do that,” he responded. “It would put the child at too great a risk for parental abuse and rejection.”
There are multiple cases of parents losing parental rights if they do not want medical treatment on their minor children.
It is understandable that activists are very concerned for the safety of children and this should not be discounted as studies show rejection of a trans youth ihas negative impacts on their mental health. However, gender dysphoria is a complicated issue and involves permanently medically altering one’s body. The demographics of GD have changed and more young people are medically transitioning without long-term data on outcome. There are also multiple cases of teenagers meeting full DSM criteria for medical transition and desisting only protected from top surgery and testosterone use by their parents who told them to wait. In this scenario if the child had been lead into unnecessary medical treatment the child abuse would be perpetrated not by the parent but by the school, mental health counsellor, and doctors. There are likely going to be more conflicts between parental rights and school systems
There are trans youth who are sure they want medical transition and preventing their transition is seen as an abuse of their personhood. At the same time, there are cases of teens outgrowing gender dysphoria and these laws destroy their parent’s rights to protect them from harm.
Changing the meaning of sexual orientation
Many school training programs and LGBT education materials define sexual orientation as attraction to “genders” and not biological sex. While there is no consensus on these issues within the LGBT community, the public is generally unaware many homosexuals find redefining the meaning of “homosexuality” to mean “same gender attraction” to be offensive. They believe biology is relevant and that words and identities have meanings that should not be redefined by others. Some trans people feel they have the right to define sexual orientation by gender identity. In this scenario, an MtF attracted to women is a “lesbian” and an FtM attracted to men is a “gay man.”
A Medium Article, “ERASURE! Kiwi gays and lesbians are being erased from their own movement” extensively covers how erasing biological sex as being relevant in defining sexual orientation is being pushed by LGBT rights organizations. This is author is not the only LGB person who is angry over this and who sees this as destructive to sexual orientation rights.
Stonewall UK, the HRC, and every other LGBT organization now have definitions of sexual orientation based on gender identity. Examples exist that demonstrate why ignoring biological reality is a problem in the real world. In the studies below, scientific researchers fail to even provide basic relevant information in their psychological studies.
This HRC study has a broad category of nonbinary/genderqueer individuals with various definitions (trans masculine and trans feminine). No can discern from this study what the actual biological sex of nonbinary identified individuals are. In fact, there is no way to tell the actual biological sex of any of the respondents. Given that anyone can identify anyway they like, and that this is now valued by LGBT organizations, studies on LGBT youth populations will be based all on a postmodern-style worldview of internal feelings being reality rather than physical reality. This is not an appropriate way to do sociological research.
Why are details like this important?
In a similar apparently poor-quality study, there may be information that shows higher suicide ideation rates in biological female, regardless of how they identify. If there is no clear biological sex data, one cannot accurately determine the needs of individual subpopulations.
The ‘transgender’ category may just serve to cover up the scale of suicide attempts and self-harm rates of girls and young women.
It also makes invisible the number of young lesbians of this generation who are ‘identifying’ out of both womanhood and lesbianism…
Looking at the sample above, the male and female ‘gender’ categories include the 16% trans-identified respondents and therefore represent a combination of those pupils stating their biological sex and those declaring their ‘gender identity.’ We don’t know if this question was put clearly to respondents, but from the wording above it appears not. This renders these categories meaningless. ‘Male’ and ‘female’ are biological sexes (not ‘genders’) but if students can just identify into one or the other we can’t measure the actual male/female ratio accurately.
Without knowing this, we obviously can’t ascertain the exact number of students who are actually lesbian or gay either: is a male who ‘self-identifies’ as a lesbian recorded as a lesbian or (accurately) as a heterosexual male? If we don’t acknowledge biological sex, we can’t define or record ‘same-sex’ sexual orientation. These are very important questions for gays and lesbians who are already being called ‘transphobic’ for not wanting a sexual relationship with someone of the opposite sex just because that person ‘identifies’ as the same sex. It is important that Stonewall clarifies this point for lesbian and gay students.
Failing to have clear biological categories is not only confusing research data but is also causing conflict within the LGBT community and between women and gender dysphoric biological males. Some lesbians and gay men are strongly resisting redefining “homosexual” to mean “homogenderal.” This is a reaction to intense social justice rhetoric that gay people are problematic for wanting to be with a same-sex partner. Not opening up their sexuality and their biologically defined populations to people based on their self-identification and cosmetic surgery used to treat a psychological condition is viewed as problematic with little concern for what the effects of this actually are.
Transgendertrend in Britain, has laid out some recommendations for how to deal with the trans issue in schools. They succinctly address the problems that arise from ignoring biological sex.
The redefinition of homosexuals as people whose sexual orientation is towards the ‘same gender’ rather than same-sex attraction fundamentally alters the meaning of ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian.’
And changing the concept of “woman” to include self-declared trans women also threatens a secure understanding of the concept “lesbian”. Lesbians are traditionally understood as females with a sexual orientation towards other females. Again, the categorisation is socially useful. It helps members of the category understand themselves in a positive, distinctive way, despite living in a heteronormative society. It motivates them to create their own social spaces. It gives them special protections, as a discriminated-against minority; and access to special sources of charity funding. Some trans activists seek to engineer the concept “lesbian” too, arguing that, since self-declared trans women are women, or even female, self-declared trans women with a sexual orientation towards women, or females, are “lesbians”, and should have access to exactly the same social spaces, protections and funding. Furthermore, many self-declared trans women retain male genitalia. Some trans activists have it that female lesbians are “transphobic” for ruling out sexual attraction for those with male genitalia. The upshot of this is likely to involve confusion and shame for some emerging young lesbians, socially pressured into considering sleeping with males to whom they are fundamentally unattracted, as determined by their basic sexual orientation.
More on this subject matter is covered here.
Violation of rights to free thought & speech
School systems and Universities are moving to enact rules that force instructors and students to use others’ preferred pronouns. This would include 3rd gender pronouns and the pronouns of people who make no effort to pass.
Here is a typical example:
The University of Minnesota is considering a new policy that would mandate the use of “preferred pronouns” under threat of expulsion or firing.
According to the policy—currently titled “Equity and Access: Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Names and Pronouns”—members of the academic institution “are expected to use the names, gender identities, and pronouns specified to them by University members.”
The policy, which reportedly began circulating earlier this year, would also allow students to use school facilities based on their preferred gender identity and not their sex assigned at birth.
“Individuals may access gender-specific facilities that correspond with their gender identities and may participate in University activities and programs consistent with their gender identities including, but not limited to, housing, restrooms, locker rooms, recreation services and activities, and camp programs,” the proposal reads.
“Individuals will not be required to use gender-specific facilities that are inconsistent with their gender identities or to use gender inclusive options because their sex assigned at birth or sex listed on legal documents differs from their gender identity or gender expression,” the draft continues.
News and commentary outlets will often discount concerns that people will be prosecuted and put in jail for pronoun misuse (here and here) if misgendering laws are passed. This viewpoint should be treated with skepticism. A man was recently interrogated by the police in Britain for retweeting a limerick on Twitter because it harshly states the biological reality that males with gender dysphoria are not females. The police recorded this as a “hate incident.”
What actually constitutes harassment and intimidation can be subjective. For example, many homosexuals could argue that any mosque or church teaching their religion is “hate speech”, as writings in these religious condemn homosexuality and even prescribe death for it.
Forcing the speech of others may be a possibility in countries such as Canada who passed Bill C-16 and Britain where they do not have the first amendment that exists in the United Sates. In the United these laws may wind up in the court system involving freedom of speech arguments.
Trans identification wielded to seek special attention/power at school & elsewhere
There is a definite increase in media attention around transgender issues. Trans rights are the central civil rights issue of the day. There is a very large increase in young people identifying as trans or genderqueer (see here and here). Many youths who identify as trans or non-binary are not necessarily medically transitioning but could potentially demand access to the bathrooms of their choice.
There are people, including teachers, who worry some of this is a fad. A fad that gives some young people a sense of power and belonging they otherwise would not have had. This may make things very difficult for school teachers and administrators to discern a young person’s true issues now that any gender nonconforming person can fall under the trans umbrella, that there are multiple gender identities and pronouns, a person can be one gender one day and another gender the next, and that these identities don’t necessarily require any medical intervention. How can school systems realistically manage all of these situations?
In this story, a female who says:
I'm nonbinary transgender so I don't identify as male or female. I'm kind of both but I'm just neither
…started using the boys’ bathroom dressed in stereotypical female clothing. The school had offered this person a faculty bathroom to accommodate said gender identity. This student caused a major incident at the school, to the point of a news crew showing up because boys at the school took this picture and made fun of it on social media. The female portrayed herself as a victim of terrible discrimination. These are distractions from the role of educating the school is supposed to be focused on. This student was already accommodated by the faculty in the way that was best for this student’s own safety.
Another teacher thinks that trans identification can be partially about control and power and attention seeking.
I am a senior pastoral leader in a large comprehensive school. Un l 2015, we did not have a single child who identified as transgender during their time in school. The first child who came out to me as transgender did so on the day that I had organised a workshop for young men on the topic of testicular cancer. This young person is biologically female and presents according to female gender stereotypes but told me that, as non-binary and because this was a day that they felt more male, they wished to attend the workshop. I allowed their inclusion but it was clear that it had an impact on the comfort of the male students. I later met with the young person and discussed how the school could meet their needs. I then made adjustments, amended records (three different names were used in the following two years) and school policy, talked to other senior leaders and designed lesson activities for use during PSHE days. I remember that the student was absolutely insistent that they should be allowed to attend lessons for children in younger years to talk about issues related to being transgender.
Since that first young person, around fourteen young people in my school have ‘come out’ as trans according to this pattern: the children are very confident in their identity which often has complicated associated language and rules. None of these children are undertaking any medical or therapeutic interventions. Most of these young people are female and identify as trans or non‐binary and present and dress in a near identical style. The children spend all of their social time together and generally do not mix outside of their peer group. Several much younger children have come out to me as trans, telling me that one individual, who is the oldest of the peer group by several years, has helped them to realise their gender identity.
There has been a significant increase in the use of sexist and homophobic language in school. Because of this, it has been a long me since a child came out to me in school that they are gay, lesbian or bisexual; these labels actually seem quite old- fashioned amongst the students now. Instead, children that I suspect might be LGB are most likely to come out as trans which is much more fashionable and means that they are far less likely to be victimized, as being trans carries so much power. Our transgender children are very confident when discussing issues related to their identity and challenging their peers and teachers.
Under the new guidelines these young people are entitled to access to the showers, dormitories and toilets of students of the opposite sex without any medical or psychiatric assessment according to their own definition on as transgender.
Some people are reporting that the situation around gender on college campuses is crippled by a neurosis culture of identity disturbance, anger, and manipulation of other’s. This writer comments on a LGBT guide for faculty from Central Connecticut State University:
It is a privilege to not have to worry about which pronoun someone is going to use for you based on how they perceive your gender. If you have this privilege, yet fail to respect someone else’s gender identity, it is not only disrespectful and hurtful, but also oppressive.
Do take care, faculty. It is oppressive to oppressed classes to screw up their pronouns. But it is not oppressive to you to have to learn and use preferred pronouns. Can professors be dismissive of this silliness? No, not if they wish to not be dismissed from their positions. To take one example, a recent article stated that at the University of Minnesota a new draft proposal discloses that not correctly recognizing preferred pronouns could result in “disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment and academic sanctions up to and including academic expulsion.”
A comment from the article:
It is worth asking if this sounds like a healthy youth cultucollegere:
But I was not ready for the culture shock of university, a small, selective liberal arts college. On the first day of orientation after moving into my new dorm, we had a floor meeting in which we introduced ourselves by name, location, fun fact, and preferred pronouns. “Remember, you cannot assume ANYONE’S gender identity!” I felt silly having to tell a room of 40+ people that I prefer she/her pronouns, yet many people, at least five or six, who looked obviously male or female announced that they preferred the opposite pronouns. No one flinched or stuttered or acted like this activity was superfluous–though one international student asked me later, privately, why we had to do that. One person even announced that “some days” she would prefer to be called she, but other days would be going by he. Everyone nodded along, as if, of course, this makes sense.
And an example of this culture being used to intimidate college professors:
At worst they are aggressively anti “straight white men,” apparently the worst species on earth and the ones responsible for all hardship, as they threaten professors and other students who dare to hint at an observation that doesn’t sound affirmative of transgender identities.
The identity politics around the trans issue and the fact that people are terrified of being seen as “bigots” will make it more difficult for schools to enforce reasonable boundaries or make common sense assessments around the realities of biological sex.
Any conflicts in school environments must be handled with calm & respect: culture of shunning trans people or demonizing other with concerns is not acceptable
Currently in Western countries there are conflicts happening over trans policies in schools and elsewhere. There have been stories in the UK, Canada, the US, and Australia as we have covered in the material above. The way these arguments presented are potentially harmful to trans students and curr ently school systems are being put in difficult situations.
A trans woman speaks to the harm of a circus of dramatic conflict around trans students,
Claire Birkenshaw, a transgender former headteacher, says the wide range of different advice creates confusion and conflict. “There needs to be clear statutory guidance for schools that incorporates the views of experts from education, the medical profession, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and trans people,” she says. “Rows about a vulnerable and marginalised group in education are not helpful.”
Creating a culture of histrionics around these conflicts should be avoided.
Parents who have concern for privacy rights and girls’ sports should not frame this discussion in a way that justifies a culture of shunning or indicates they view trans youth as a threat, which is psychologically damaging. Parents and trans rights activists should also not paint parents opposed to integrating males in female areas as “hate” towards trans students, which is happening. This just unnecessarily fuels depression and at worst suicide ideation which teens are prone to.
Here an LGBT magazine accuses parents who don’t feel it is fair for their daughter to compete against trans girls due to biological realities as not caring about them being suicidal.
In Connecticut, some people are making a different choice. They want their cisgender kid to get the trophy, and they don’t give a crap whose self-esteem they injure along the way. They don’t care that trans youth are at least 10 times more likely to attempt suicide than their kid. They want trans athletes banned from sports so their kid can win another medal.
A Connecticut newspaper:
To deny a transgender athlete the chance to compete is wrong in every way. To deny a teenage transgender athlete the opportunity to compete sends the kind of message that lowers the standards of humanity. Those wrestling with gender and sexual identity at this delicate age are especially prone to drug use and suicide.
This kind of rhetoric not only completely denies girls have any rights themselves but also serves to fuel suicide contagion. Also, framing the discussing in terms of cartoonish views of good and evil create a situation where girls cannot advocate for themselves because “trans people will kills themselves.” This is emotionally abusive on an individual level and societal level.
These discussions should happen calmly and respectfully and a place should be created to celebrate and support everyone.
CONTINUE TO TOPIC 13:
-Critics of online trans/genderqueer youth culture believe it is fueling body dysphoria, making gender GD trendy, drawing in young people with other mental illnesses, & is creating a casual attitude towards surgical & hormonal body modifications
-Cultural celebration of breast binding, double mastectomy & non-binary double mastectomies, reinforced by magazines for youth & school endorsement of binding policies dysmorphic disorder, or a combination?
-Dysphoric biological males in bathrooms & locker rooms
-There have already been incidences with trans students involving mixing genders in school bathrooms: it is not a total “non-issue” as it is often portrayed as by activists