The hot-button issue of transgender politics in the Pentagon is only a medical matter for doctors to decide, according to a statement from the American Medical Association.
The AMA’s attempt to conceal sex and transgender politics under a thin laboratory coat is aided by the reporters for Politico, The Hill and other outlets who spotlighted the trade group’s medicine-not-politics demand.
“We believe there is no medically valid reason—including a diagnosis of gender dysphoria—to exclude transgender individuals from military service,” said the April 3 letter from James Madara, CEO of the AMA, which was first published by Politico. Madara continued:
the Defense Department’s February 22, 2018, Memorandum for the President mischaracterized and rejected the wide body of peer-reviewed research on the effectiveness of transgender medical care. This research, demonstrating that medical care for gender dysphoria is effective, was the rationale for the AMA’s adoption of policy by our House of Delegates in 2015, that there is no medically valid reason to exclude transgender individuals from military service.
… the financial cost is negligible and a rounding error in the defense budget. It should not be used as a reason to deny patriotic Americans an opportunity to serve their country. We should be honoring their service.
But the Pentagon’s decision to reject recruits who want to live as members of the opposite sex was based on both the medical burden of each transgender claim plus the practical problem of ensuring fairness for all soldiers.
The Pentagon policy says:
The concept of gender transition is so nebulous, however, that drawing any line [between the two sexes] — except perhaps at a full sex reassignment surgery — would be arbitrary ….
Low rates of full sex reassignment surgery and the otherwise wide variation of transition-related treatment, with all the challenges that entails for privacy, fairness, and safety, weigh in favor of maintaining a bright line based on biological sex — not gender identity … After all, a person’s biological sex is generally ascertainable through objective means. Moreover, this approach will ensure that biologically-based standards will be applied uniformly to all Service members of the same biological sex. Standards that are clear, coherent, objective, consistent, predictable, and uniformly applied enhance good order, discipline, steady leadership, and unit cohesion, which in turn, ensure military effectiveness and lethality.
The Pentagon’s bright-line biology test is intended to help preserve the normal conveniences for male and female soldiers, such as the single-sex showers which preserve soldiers’ sexual privacy, or the different fitness rules for women and men.
By emphasizing the bright line, the Pentagon fairness policy also fully rejects demands by transgender activists that the federal government outlaw and stigmatize all of the legal, civic, and social distinctions between the two equal, different and complementary sexes.
Transgender activists want each person’s legal sex to be determined by their personal and unverifiable feeling of “gender identity,” not by their verifiable biology or their genitalia. This focus on “gender identity” means that a person could be legally male in the morning and legally female in the afternoon, regardless of hormones, surgery or clothing.
If implemented via courtrooms or legislatures, the “gender identity” rule will make it practically impossible to maintain single-sex sports competitions, community awards, civic associations or even single-sex showers and bathrooms, or to tailor education and cultural events for boys or girls. For example, the ideology demands that showering women silently allow men to enter their shared space — or athletic events, shelters, civic association, and professional opportunities — if the men merely say they have the “gender identity” of women.
Conservative and feminist groups endorse the Pentagon’s bright-line policy because it formally recognizes the distinctions between the equal, different and complementary average capabilities and preferences of the two sexes.
The AMA letter did not respond to the Pentagon’s fairness argument, even though the AMA has its own transgender advocacy group and political demands. Nonetheless, transgender activists hope the letter can help persuade judges to impose the transgender ideology on the military.
White-collar reporters often defer to the claimed authority of their professional peers. In this case, the routine deference hides the underlying political and civic issues under talk about medical treatments.
For example, the Hill.com echoed the white-collar politics of the AMA by ignoring the Pentagon’s bright-line policy, saying:
The country’s largest medical organization Wednesday told Defense Secretary James Mattis that it believes his recommendations on excluding most transgender people from military service “mischaracterized and rejected” evidence on treatment for gender dysphoria.
Politico also ignored the Pentagon’s bright-line fairness argument:
There is “no medically valid reason” to exclude transgender people from serving in the military, the nation’s largest medical organization told Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday in a letter.
Vice.com sided with the therapists’ perspective:
There’s absolutely no medical reason to keep transgender individuals from serving in the military, the CEO of the American Medical Association said Wednesday, rebutting President Donald Trump’s claims that trans service members will leave the military facing “tremendous medical costs.”
Buzzfeed’s justice department reporter, Dominic Holden, Tweeted his support for the trade association’s no-politics-here pitch:
This letter from AMA is a uniquely credible damnation of the Trump administration here, given the Pentagon's new justification for a trans military ban is supposedly based on a medical rationale. https://t.co/4vZHGygXqL
— Dominic Holden (@dominicholden) April 4, 2018
In this debate, few reporters note the far-reaching political demands of the transgender ideology, even when the demands are announced to their faces.
For example, a March article by the Associated Press covered the issue as a matter of personal self-fulfillment, even though the showcased advocates demanded that 320 million Americans change their basic assumptions and views:
Austin Higgs, a panelist who identifies as genderqueer, meaning neither entirely male nor female … who works as a community engagement officer and special assistant to the president and CEO at Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, said, “It’s been a long journey for me, and I am actually proud of who I am. I want the world around me to recognize who I am.”
The phrase “I want the world around me to recognize who I am” echoes the transgender ideology’s demand that says the government should force Americans to declare Higgs to be neither male nor female, despite science and biology.
The AP article also noted a demand that government documents exclude sex data:
“For many years, I have questioned why there is any gender on any documentation,” [Zakia] McKensey [a man living as a woman] said. “Does it really matter if I’m male or female to drive a car? I would like to see no gender on any documentation. I don’t think it really matters, as long as it’s you on the ID.”
Without sexual distinctions on official documents, there would be little no legal authority for women to reject a man’s insistence that he too is a woman.
The transgender ideology is deeply unpopular, especially among women and parents. In 2017, former President Barack Obama told NPR that his promotion of the transgender ideology made it easier for Donald Trump to win the presidency.
Multiple polls show that most Americans wish to help and comfort people who think they are a member of the opposite sex, even as they also reject the transgender ideology’s claim that a person’s legal sex is determined by their feeling of “gender identity,” not by biology.
Very few Americans want to live as members of the other sex, and even fewer want to change their bodies with hormones or surgery.
Only about 4,118 Americans surgically altered their bodies in hospitals from 2000 to 2014 to appear like members of the opposite sex, according to a peer-reviewed study published February 2018 by the Journal of the American Medical Association. In percentage terms, the 4,118 people who underwent surgery is just 0.0013 percent of the 320 million people who live in the United States, according to the study. The JAMA report notes that roughly one-quarter of the estimated 4,118 people who underwent the surgeries recorded in the study did not have surgery on their genitals.
The Pentagon transgender report noted that only 388 military members — or 0.0184 percent of the military — are taking opposite-sex hormones. That percentage is just one person among every 5,400 service members.
However, the gender ideology is rapidly gaining power, aided by huge donations from wealthy individuals and medical companies. In Ohio, for example, in February, a judge forced parents of a teenage girl to give up custody so she can begin a lifetime of risky drug treatments and surgery that will allow her to appear as a male. Also, officials in New York and various universities have threatened to penalize people who do not refer to men as if they are women.
The progressive push to bend Americans’ attitudes and their male-and-female civic society around the idea of “gender identity” has already attacked and cracked many of the popular social rules which help Americans manage the cooperation and competition among and between complementary, different and equal men and women.
These pro-gender claims have an impact on different-sex bathrooms, shelters for battered women, sports leagues for girls, hiking groups for boys, K-12 curricula, university speech codes, religious freedoms, free speech, the social status of women, parents’ rights in childrearing, practices to help teenagers, health outcomes, women’s expectations of beauty, culture and civic society, scientific research, prison safety, civic ceremonies, school rules, men’s sense of masculinity, law enforcement, and children’s sexual privacy.