Last week opposition to a policy being considered by the Caldwell School Board got national attention when hundreds turned out to protest and disruptions caused the board to adjourn early.
Tapes showing the restlessness and strength of the protesters implies there was a possibility of violence, but none happened. The hundreds standing outside seemed happy to see so many like-minded people. A few of those inside were bullying board members, but the biggest threat voiced was “recall.”
What made the event newsworthy was the highly emotional reactions to a hot issue–the rights of transgender students. The policy under consideration in Caldwell is based on a model written by the Idaho School Boards Association and similar to policies adopted by Teton, Bonneville and Blaine districts. The Blaine district enacted its policy in 2016 and says transgender students have caused no problems.
With only an hour allotted for public input, it was clear that only a fraction of the 90+ signed up could speak. Most of their testimony denied the right of transgender people to exist.
Arguments centered on three points. One, my religion says God created male and female. My child seeing teachers respecting others is an attack on my religion. Two, gender dysphoria is an illness. These kids need treatment, not confirmation of their delusions. Three, girls should not see male genitalia.
But transgender persons do exist. Even if they make up only 0.2% of the population that would mean there are 664,000 in the United States. Fourteen years ago an article estimated that 300,000 trans females had served–or were serving–in the U.S military. An Air Force psychiatrist wrote a book on the subject in 1988. The Tucson Sun (Feb. 9, 2009) talked with several trans women who explained that they joined the service to become a real man, but couldn’t get rid of their desire to be a woman.
And there is evidence transgender persons have always existed. There are records of trans individuals from Sumer and Ancient Egypt. One of the Roman Emperors mourned being a man and insisted on being addressed as a woman.
Life might be simpler if everyone were XX or XY and happy with it. Since genetic testing became possible in the 1950s, however, scientists now believe that 0.3% of the population is XXY and XYY. Other gene combinations exist–XXYY, XXXX, XXXXY, and XXXXX–though in far fewer numbers. Some persons have “chromosomal mosaicism,” that is, their cells so not all have the same DNA.
DNA variance and transgenderism may or may not be related but they are both evidence of humanity's great variety.
Transgender people experience gender incongruence, which can cause gender dysphoria - distress at not being your assigned gender. Official treatments for gender dysphoria include supporting the person's gender expression, counseling to relieve feelings of guilt, hormone therapy, and surgery. Those who complete their transition often become “gender euphoric”-- openly happy about their gender.
There is no record of psychotherapy changing a person’s own image of their gender.
As far as trans women displaying male genitalia to others, it hasn’t come up. Women’s bathrooms have stalls–and dressing rooms have bathrooms. People who want friends to accept them as female are unlikely to show their male parts. There has been a case of a boy wearing a skirt and attacking girls in the female restroom, but he was not a trans person–he was a boy wearing a skirt.
Exposure to trans students is just one more fear–like porn in libraries and discrimination against whites–planted by those who want to abolish public schools.