A national hate-group disguised as a legitimate medical organization has created a petition that applauds the Trump administration's initiative to remove transgender people under Title IX protections.
Trump's memo states that the government needs to define gender “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.”
The petition, written by the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), has amassed over 12,000 signatures as of December 11, and is co-signed by three dozen prominent conservative lawyers, educators, doctors, and researchers across the nation.
ACPeds was founded in 2002 after the American Academy of Pediatrics (a legitimate organization) endorsed adoption by same-sex couples. ACPeds, which has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for "pushing anti-LGBT junk science,” supports conversion therapy, believes that same-sex marriage should not be legal, and asserts same-sex couples should not adopt.
The petition is riddled with pseudoscience and blatant lies about transgender individuals. First, they argue that it’s necessary for a person’s biological sex to coincide with a person’s gender for medical reasons.
“Diseases that affect both sexes often have different frequencies, presentations and responses to treatments in males and females; therefore, different preventative, diagnostic, and treatment approaches may be required for males and females,” the petition states.
The results of not treating the patient by their biological sex could be “catastrophic.”
There is a simple solution to this that’s already implemented: a doctor would know whether their patient is transgender. The only reason a patient would not disclose being transgender is if they felt a doctor would harass them or not give them proper care because of their gender identity. The issue, then, lies in the doctor’s unwillingness to treat trans patients with respect. That’s on the medical community, not on the patients.
ACPeds also claims that affirming a person’s gender identity through “social and medical gender transition and affirmation" does not help with the mental wellbeing of transgender individuals. They cited a 2011 Swedish study, which found that the rate of suicide among those who received gender-affirming surgeries were 19 times greater than the rest of the population.
This isn’t the first time this research has been misinterpreted and misused. In 2015, the lead author of the study released a statement explaining that transitioning didn’t lead to an increase in suicide; rather, “cultural oppression and outright hate” are to blame.
The petition concludes with classic fear-mongering, arguing that the spaces typically reserved for cisgender women, would be overrun by “biological men” with the intent of assaulting women.
“As a result, girls and women are suffering sexual assaults at the hands of biological men in women's shelters, women's prisons, and even elementary school girls' bathrooms.”
This is backwards; trans women are not the predators in these situations. They are significantly more likely to be harassed or to experience sexual assault in these spaces according to the HRC and 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey.
In fact, there have been more reported cases of Republican legislators engaging in sexual misconduct in restrooms than trans women.
But more importantly, the use of such uncorroborated pseudoscience, pedaled by a group of prominent lobbyists and anti-LGBTQ+ advocates gives even more reason for the White House to delegitimize the rights of transgender people and further emboldens the Trump administration's decision to remove transgender people under Title IX protections.
The signers of the letter that accompanies the petition are all the usual suspects: members of organizations like the Alliance Defending Freedom and the conservative-biased Toronto Sun. However, faculty members from the University of Notre Dame, Rutgers University, and the University of San Diego co-signed the petition, prompting OUT to seek comments.
Notre Dame and Rutgers gave the same reply, stating that faculty member are allowed to express their own opinions, and they do not represent that of the university.
UCSD replied, “The University protects the right of every individual to think, speak, express and debate any idea governed by reasonable considerations of time, place and manner.”
The assistant vice president of media communications continued, “We support our faculty members as they conduct their research and express their findings on a wide variety of contemporary topics. We also encourage them to acknowledge, and foster respect for, dissenting points of view in their responsibilities to their students and the reputation of the university.”