Who Believes in Science, Now? Medical Journal Claims Biological Sex Has 'No Clinical Utility'

AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File

Just how deeply has transgender activism penetrated the medical field? This month, a top medical journal published an article claiming that sex designations on birth certificates do more harm than good. In fact, the article’s abstract claims that biological sex on a birth certificate has “no clinical utility,” even though men and women have different biochemical makeups and therefore many drugs affect the sexes differently.


It seems The New England Journal of Medicine may be prioritizing transgender ideology over science. The new paper “Failed Assignments — Rethinking Sex Designations on Birth Certificates,” dated December 17, 2020, argues for placing information about biological sex “below the line of demarcation,” so as to avoid potentially “harming” the identity of people who will later identify as transgender.

“Sex designations on birth certificates offer no clinical utility, and they can be harmful for intersex and transgender people. Moving such designations below the line of demarcation wouldn’t compromise the birth certificate’s public health function but could avoid harm,” the paper’s abstract argues.

Journal transgender birth certificate
Twitter screenshot of the New England Journal of Medicine account.

The paper claims that “assigning sex at birth … doesn’t capture the diversity of people’s experiences. About 6 in 1000 people identify as transgender, meaning that their gender identity doesn’t match the sex they were assigned at birth. Others are nonbinary, meaning they don’t exclusively identify as a man or a woman, or gender nonconforming, meaning their behavior or appearance doesn’t align with social expectations for their assigned sex.”

Regardless of these identities, human beings are either male, female, or disordered in their sexual development (often given the term “intersex”). Biological sex impacts biochemistry down to the cellular level and it cannot be changed by idenitifying as the gender opposite one’s biological sex. Even hormones and surgery cannot alter the DNA that clearly marks each person as male or female. Biological sex is also not just a matter of “sex assigned at birth.” It is a biological reality that cannot be erased in the name of transgender identity.


Yet this paper in the New England Journal of Medicine supports removing biological sex from an individual’s identity marker, moving sex designation “below the line,” to a lower section of the paperwork where doctors compile vital statistics.

The paper cites Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), the Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage, claiming that sex designations matter less.

“Moving sex designations below the line would be in keeping with legal developments deemphasizing sex distinctions. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has held, in Obergefell v. Hodges, that bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, only a few legal contexts relying on sex designations remain,” the paper claims. “In these contexts, using information from birth certificates is not the best way to categorize people.”

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The authors also suggest removing sex designations from important documents like passports.

Passports and state identification cards relying on sex assigned at birth for identification pose another challenge. These documents are usually issued or renewed when the holder is an adolescent or an adult, however, so moving sex designations below the line of demarcation on birth certificates would permit applicants to identify their gender without medical verification. Governments could also remove gender designations from identification cards altogether and focus more on identifiable physical features and updated photographs. This change would accommodate nonbinary people and reduce the burdens associated with amending documents.


Removing or altering biological sex from identifying documents does not just cause confusion. In at least one case, it cost a life. Last May, The New England Journal of Medicine published a harrowing story about a “transgender man” who went to the hospital with abdominal pains. As it turns out, the “man” was really a pregnant woman, and she was going into labor. The woman’s misleading documents led the hospital to make a grievous error, and her child died as a result.

This horrific tragedy did not cause authors at The New England Journal of Medicine to reconsider the dangers of transgender identity on public documents, however. Dr. Daphna Stroumsa at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, who wrote that article, claimed that the pregnant woman “was rightly classified as a man.” Both the Journal and The Washington Post faulted the doctors for supposedly lacking nuance, rather than the basic biological confusion of transgender identity.

Gender dysphoria — the painful condition of identifying with the gender opposite one’s biological sex — is a real phenomenon, but it is far from clear that encouraging a biologically false identity is the right “cure” for it. Many transgender people have grown to regret their transgender identity and the irreversible alterations they made to their own bodies in pursuit of it. Women who removed their breasts and took testosterone grew to reject their transgender identities and mourn their irreversible male characteristics. A man who formerly identified as a woman and who replaced his male anatomy with a female one later lamented what he called a “Frankenstein hack job.”


Yet billionaires and Big Pharma have pushed the transgender movement and helped it infiltrate the medical field. Jennifer Bilek has done yeoman’s work revealing the cash behind the transgender revolution in medicine.

Transgender activists have repeatedly suggested that biological sex is something false or contestible — merely “assigned at birth” rather than inherent in every cell of the human body. It is both shameful and terrifying that a journal like The New England Journal of Medicine would push such an idea and actually advocate for removing biological sex from birth certificates — which seemingly remain one of the last places where doctors are allowed to acknowledge the truth.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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