The conservative site College Fix quotes various academics in challenging the identification of gender and notes the campaign of the Trans Doe Task Force to “explore ways in which current standards in forensic human identification do a disservice to people who do not clearly fit the gender binary.”
University of Kansas Associate Professor Jennifer Raff argued in a paper, “Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas,” that there are “no neat divisions between physically or genetically ‘male’ or ‘female’ individuals.” Her best selling book has been featured on various news outlets like MSNBC.
However, Raff is not alone. Graduate students like Emma Palladino have objected that “the archaeologists who find your bones one day will assign you the same gender as you had at birth, so regardless of whether you transition, you can’t escape your assigned sex.”
Professors Elizabeth DiGangi of Binghamton University and Jonathan Bethard of the University of South Florida have also challenged the use of racial classifications in a study, objecting that “[a]ncestry estimation contributes to white supremacy.”
In the midst of a slew of anti-trans legislation proposed earlier this year, Spencer Cox, the Republican governor of Utah, made an impassioned plea to his state’s legislature as he tried to veto a bill that would bar trans youth from competing in girls’ sports. “I want them to live,” he wrote of the trans athletes in his state, in reference to the astronomical rates of suicide attempts among the trans community. Multiple surveys have estimated that about 40 percent of trans people may attempt suicide in their lifetimes; among the general public, this figure is around 5 percent.
But despite the governor’s veto attempt, the Utah bill passed, as have a few across the country that ban gender-affirming medical care for kids and teens. Many other such bills are currently in the works. These treatments—principally drugs that delay the onset of puberty, and hormone treatments such as testosterone and estrogen—help trans people achieve the bodies and appearances that feel right to them. Experts worry that the bans will have catastrophic effects. “Youth will die,” says Dallas Ducar, CEO of Transhealth Northampton, a medical center in Western Massachusetts that provides gender-affirming health care services.