- Posted August 23, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Sex Vs Gender
So in the wake of being sentenced to 35 years for illegally releasing classified information, Bradley Manning has decided that he is a woman and has chosen the name Chelsea. Unfortunately for Chelsea, he is a man, and no amount of creative doublespeak can change that. Personal opinions and beliefs aside, this is an issue of fact and science.
Why does it matter?
Recently the Department of Justice was involved in a battle with a school district in Arcadia, CA over a “sex discrimination” claim. Apparently there was a girl in the district that considered herself a boy, acting and behaving like her male counterparts. Her parents sought accommodations from the district including restroom and locker room usage. The DOJ took action, citing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, both of which prohibit discrimination based on sex.
The problem is that the DOJ is not allowed to change the meaning of words to suit their agenda. “Sex”, according to Merriam-Webster, has two main definitions:
1 : either of the two major forms of individuals that occur in many species and that are distinguished respectively as female or male especially on the basis of their reproductive organs and structures
2 : the sum of the structural, functional, and behavioral characteristics of organisms that are involved in reproduction marked by the union of gametes and that distinguish males and females
The child in California is a female. From the DNA up, she is a female. That is her sex. While she may have legitimate gender identification issues, there is no amount of debate that can change her sex. Gender identity is a psychological issue that is disconnected from the biology of sex.
The former chairman of the psychiatry department at Johns Hopkins University, Dr Paul McHugh, challenged the concept of a “sex change”. As he put it, “It is not obvious how [a] patient’s feeling that he is a woman trapped in a man’s body differs from the feeling of a patient with anorexia nervosa that she is obese despite her emaciated, cachectic state. We don’t do liposuction on anorexics. Why amputate the genitals of these poor men? Surely, the fault is in the mind, not the member.”
Gender identity is a psychological issue, and those with gender identity issues should be treated, not mutilated. Evidence shows that as many as 25% of those that ultimately undergo reassignment surgery are ultimately unhappy about the procedure. Many people point out that the suicide rate among people with gender identity issues is about 20%, but those same people fail to point out a British National Health Service study that found the suicide rate was still 18% for those that underwent reassignment. In fact, a review of research literature on the topic found "no robust scientific evidence that gender reassignment surgery is clinically effective". Elective amputation does not seem to offer a cure for the psychological disorder.
Gender has entered the vocabulary, and while many people attempt to use it as a synonym for sex, the two have very different meanings. So while gender identity is very real, and there are people that suffer from gender identity issues, their sex is not in question. So while the DOJ may cite “sex discrimination” in the case of the California school district, it is a case of gender discrimination. Discrimination on the basis of sex is a violation of federal law, discrimination based on gender is not.
This seems to be another example of how we, as a nation, seem to have lost an appreciation for the real meaning of words.