On Tuesday, medical associations representing over 30,000 health professionals across the country sent a letter praising the Trump administration’s decision to return to the biological definition of “sex” in the law, reversing the Obama policy of redefining “sex” to include gender identity.
“We, the undersigned medical, legal, and policy organizations and individuals applaud the Trump Administration’s intention to uphold the scientific definition of sex in federal law and policy, such that girls and women will regain their sex-based legal protection, and the human rights of all will be preserved,” the letter declared.
The medical professionals argued that biological sex is binary, that best health practices involve treating people according to their biological sex as opposed to their gender identity, and that protecting women and girls is impossible under an “expanded” definition of sex.
In October, The New York Times breathlessly reported on a proposed move to reverse Obama’s redefinition of sex, claiming the move would “erase” transgender people. Radical feminists eviscerated this argument in interviews with PJ Media, praising the conservative Trump administration for returning to the biological definition of sex.
The medical professionals’ letter echoed the concerns of the radical feminists. The American College of Pediatricians, the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, and the Catholic Medical Association teamed up in the effort, representing more than 30,000 medical professionals between them.
Obama’s administration altered the meaning of the term “sex” in federal law — a term that only meant biological sex when the laws were passed by Congress and signed by previous presidents — encouraging federal agencies to treat biological men who identify as women as women and vice versa. If nothing else, Trump’s reversal of these policies represents a return to the rule of law.
Under Trump, the Department of Justice and Department of Education reversed Obama’s policy in February 2017, while the DOJ reiterated this change in October of that year. The Times reported on a memo in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) about to make the same move.
Tragically, in recent years the vast majority of medical professionals have also embraced transgender identity, and so a large coalition of tech companies, universities, and scientists joined to condemn the Trump administration’s move.
This new letter from medical professionals represents a powerful response to that condemnation.
The letter quoted the American Psychiatric Association, which defines sex as as the “biological indication of male and female (understood in the context of reproductive capacity), such as sex chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, and nonambiguous internal and external genitalia.”
Transgender activists argue that sex is a “spectrum,” due to the existence of intersex people. The letter shot down this idea.
“The final result of sex development in humans is unambiguously male or female over 99.98 percent of the time. ‘Intersex’ is a term that encompasses a variety of congenital disorders of sex development that result in sex ambiguity and/or a mismatch between sex chromosomes and appearance,” the letter explained. It quoted evolutionary biologist Colin Wright, a professor at the University of California-Santa Barbara.
“The claim that classifying people’s sex upon anatomy and genetics ‘has no basis in science’ has itself no basis in reality, as any method exhibiting a predictive accuracy of over 99.98 percent would place it among the most precise methods in all the life sciences,” Wright wrote.
The letter insisted, “The use of congenital disorders to advance the myth that there are a multitude of human sexes which exist on a spectrum is ideological and political activism, not science.”
As for gender identity — and transgender identity — the medical professionals argued that it “is not an immutable trait found anywhere in the body, brain or DNA.” Importantly, children with gender dysphoria “will come to identify with their biological sex in 61-98 percent of cases by adulthood.”
Furthermore, the claim that convinced a broad swath of the medical community to embrace transgenderism — that affirming transgender identity will decrease suicide rates among those with gender dysphoria — is false, the letter argued.
“Individuals who identify as transgender have mistaken beliefs about themselves and their bodies. They suffer real emotional distress and are at a higher risk for mental illness, including suicidal ideation, as compared to the general population,” the medical professionals admitted. “Social and medical ‘gender transition and affirmation,’ however, is not proven to decrease suicide rates.”
The letter referenced a 2011 study from Sweden, which found that the suicide rate among people who had undergone transgender surgery was nineteen times greater than that of the general population. “Clearly, transgender affirmation does not prevent suicide, and may paradoxically worsen the emotional health of these individuals in the long term.”
Importantly, the medical professionals argued that the traditional and biological definition of “sex” in the law will enable the government to protect women.
“It is impossible to protect girls’ and women’s rights unless the law defines them solely according to objective biological reality and not according to subjective gender identity,” they wrote. “When gender identity is erroneously treated as equivalent to sex in law and policy, then a male may at any time demand the rights, protections and access afforded to females.”
The letter referenced the fact that biological males have been using their genetic advantage to win statewide championships in women’s sports, depriving biological women of athletic college scholarships. It also referenced the horror of biological males using transgender identity to invade women’s spaces, including shelters, prisons, and even restrooms — in one case a 5-year-old “gender non-conforming” boy sexually assaulted a 5-year-old girl in a girl’s restroom.
Furthermore, accepting transgender identity in the medical profession creates other problems. “Doctors and scientists unconstrained by transgender politics know full well that were we to treat patients in accordance with a discordant gender identity, instead of their real sex, the results could be catastrophic,” the letter warned. “For example, the heart medication, Betapace, is three times more likely to cause a lethal heart rhythm called torsades de pointes in women than it is in men.”
Despite their clear stance against transgender identity, the medical professionals insisted that “as the biological men and women they are, transgender-identified individuals possess the same human dignity and right to the equal protection of the law as all Americans.”
“For the law to respect the human dignity of all Americans, including those who identify as transgender, it must be based on biological truth; not on ideological falsehoods at the expense of children and women’s rights, health and well-being,” they concluded.
Pro-transgender medical professionals are likely to condemn this letter, but it does represent important arguments that need to be considered on these issues. It also demonstrates that experts in the health industry are not united in supporting transgender identity — no unanimous consensus exists.
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