Thomas Gallatin / December 22, 2020

Erasing Sex Designation on Birth Certificates?

The New England Journal of Medicine promotes woke politics over and against the science.

Exceptions to the rule are unusual precisely because they do not conform to what’s normal, typical, or expected. The fact that exceptions exist does not negate the reality of what is normative. However, in the insane world of the “woke,” if an exception exists, it absolutely negates the reality of normal and usual. All that exists is the exceptional.

Nowhere is this twisted mindset more evident than in today’s culture war over the understanding of what constitutes human gender and sexuality. With the rise of so-called “transgenderism,” today’s woke culture warriors have laid their axe at the foot of the gender tree and are ferociously swinging away with the objective of felling one of the most universally recognized, accepted, and basic human distinctions and identities: the male and female sexes.

What in large part began as a battle over bathroom and locker room access expanded into athletics and sports. It is now attacking those very institutions of higher learning that prize scientific rationalism as the most objective source of truth. Case in point, The New England Journal of Medicine recently published an article titled, “Failed Assignments: Rethinking Sex Designations on Birth Certificates.”

The authors argue against the science and in favor of cultural and political concerns. They assert, “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.” As noted above, the argument here is one of rejecting the objective norms in favor of the subjective and exceptional simply because the exceptional (arguably) exists.

Showing their political leanings, the authors insist, “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. In these contexts, using information from birth certificates is not the best way to categorize people.”

While one may use a birth certificate only for a few legal contexts, that doesn’t negate the reality that one’s scientifically recognized sex is applicable in nearly every context nearly every day. The authors’ argument is astonishing for its blatant disregard of the vast majority of daily instances in which one’s sex is a fundamental identifier that can’t simply be ignored.

National Review’s Wesley Smith cogently observes, “Publishing ideological advocacy in what is supposed to be a journal that primarily publishes objective scientific information contributes to the growing public distrust of the science sector. That doesn’t help people with gender dysphoria specifically, or contribute to the betterment of society overall.”

As the authors note, approximately six in 1,000 individuals claim “transgender” identity. The notion that the 994 normal individuals should have to reject not only objective scientific fact but also deny the reality of their own gender experience in order to cater to the tragic delusions of the few is irrational to say the least. With this kind of thinking, we’ll have rid the world of mental illness by essentially declaring that no one is really mentally ill; it’s just manifestations of mental diversity. How can individuals with genuine exceptional issues like gender dysphoria be helped if those in the medical field are prevented from doing so because those with certain political sensitivities have declared the science “oppressive”?

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