Tag Archives: gender identity

Mattel introduces “gender neutral” Barbie

From Yahoo: Mattel, the company behind Barbie and American Girl, has announced a new line of gender neutral dolls called Creatable World. In the brand’s own words, it is “a doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in — giving kids the freedom to create their own customizable characters again and again.”

The tagline for the dolls, “All Welcome,” is an accurate description of the toys that are something of a blank canvas and encourage creative play. Each doll retails for $29.99 and comes with short hair, a long haired wig, clothing and accessories that can be mixed up to create hundreds of looks.

“Toys are a reflection of culture and as the world continues to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we felt it was time to create a doll line free of labels,” Kim Culmone, senior vice president of Mattel Fashion Doll Design, said in a statement.

Through research, we heard that kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms. This line allows all kids to express themselves freely which is why it resonates so strongly with them.”

Reactions to the gender-neutral Creatable World dolls were mixed. Many showed their love for the new toy. Others aren’t so supportive of the new member of the Mattel family.

This is not Mattel’s first foray into pushing the boundaries of what dolls represent to children in our changing culture. In 2016, Barbie got a major makeover, with the brand launching tall, curvy and petite versions of the iconic doll, which was also made available in a variety of skin tones and hair types for the first time.

The brand had faced facing longstanding criticism over the toy’s unrealistic proportions and lack of diversity, and the move came amid slumping sales for the brand, which launched in 1959.

Barbie’s proportions have changed slightly over the years, but Mattel has continued to face criticism for promoting an unrealistic body image to girls. The company has largely deflected criticism in the past, arguing that the doll’s various career choices — doctor, astronaut, businesswoman — support female empowerment, and denying that Barbie influences girls’ body image.

Barbie also launched its “Inspiring Woman Series” line in 2018 on International Women’s Day, calling it a “doll line dedicated to honor historical role models who paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before.”

This August, they debuted the latest additions to its “Inspiring Women” Barbie collection: Rosa Parks and Sally Ride. The line includes other other notable figures, including Amelia Earhart, Katherine Johnson and Frida Kahlo.

And just this past February, Mattel announced a new member of Barbie’s “Barbie Fashionista” line — a doll in a wheelchair. A representative from Mattel told Yahoo Lifestyle that a doll with a wheelchair accessory is one of the most requested items from Barbie fans and within this line there are now two options to choose from.

Mattel seems to be shifting their focus as a brand from a single doll style to multiple options that reflect children’s lives and how they function in the world. Only time will tell if this cultural shift is here to stay.

DCG

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UK children as young as three could receive help to change their gender from NHS via Skype call

From Daily Mail: Children as young as three could be helped to change gender by doctors on the basis of just a Skype phone call under plans being considered by the NHS.

A controversial clinic, which helps thousands of children to change gender every year, says that it has become so overwhelmed by patients that it could be forced to set children on a path to a new sex on the basis of ‘telemedical’ appointments.

The startling development is likely to cause an outcry among critics of the clinic’s work, who will argue that it is impossible to evaluate a child’s suitability for such radical treatment over the phone.

Internal reports produced for the directors of the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), run by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, argue that without such radical changes the clinic could be forced to shut down due to an exodus of demoralised staff.

The plan for sex change by Skype comes as the clinic faces growing pressure from psychologists who say it uses untested drugs on troubled children and ‘rushes’ them towards becoming transgender.

Last year 2,590 children were referred to the clinic, a rise of more than 400 per cent since 2013, leading to a two-year waiting list.

Ten of the children were aged three or four and dozens more were of primary-school age. The treatment includes giving the children hormone-blocking drugs.

The GIDS reports, which have been seen by this newspaper, reveal that the clinic has started testing ‘some of the practicalities involved in identifying young people and families to be considered for treatment appointments delivered with telemedicine’.

It uses technology such as Skype and FaceTime to allow doctors to diagnose and prescribe treatment for patients hundreds or thousands of miles away.

The reports, which were presented to the directors last month, reveal that publicity about the clinic’s work has led to a surge in demand for its services and an increase in waiting times, leading to a growing burden on staff.

The report warns that the situation was becoming so serious that ‘the service could be decommissioned by the NHS’.

Last night, a spokesman for the Tavistock and Portman Trust said: ‘Using digital technologies to increase efficiency and to enhance patient experience where appropriate is an area of development across the NHS.

‘The Trust is working to minimise waiting times and make clinical support easier to access, including eliminating travel time for young people and their families, which will also allow us to offer appointments earlier and later in the day.

‘As with the rest of the NHS, innovations like telemedicine are an addition and will not mean the removal or inability to access face-to-face consultations.

‘The Trust and GIDS welcome all open and informed discussion and decision-making around the best way to support young people experiencing difficulties or distress around their gender identity.’

An NHS source said that NHS England ‘would continue to work with the Trust and the service to seek changes that will address waiting times and support continued improvement of the service delivered’.

h/t Weasel Zippers

DCG

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Oreo cookies pushing the gender identity myth with “ask me my pronouns” cookies

On the last day of Pride Month, Oreo cookies put this on their social media platforms:


“We’re proud to celebrate inclusivity for all gender identities and expressions. In partnership with NCTE, we’re giving away special edition Pronoun Packs and encouraging everybody to share their pronouns with #Pride today and every day.”

It’s not enough that children are indoctrinated in public education to believe they can magically change their biology. They are now faced with this farce while eating cookies. COOKIES.

Tell me Nabisco, when are you coming out with Oreos that celebrate those who believe they can change their species or should have been born disabled?

h/t Moonbattery

DCG

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You is special: Oregon judge rules transgender prisoner must have transgender cellmate or be housed alone

Brandy Hall…aka Brandon Wayne Nelson

The transgender inmate, “Brandy,” is in jail for the following crimes: rape, sodomy and sex abuse.

From Oregon Live: A judge this week ordered the state to house a transgender female inmate in a cell separate from male inmates and to protect her from harassment.

The decision for inmate Brandy Hall is believed to be a first in Oregon at a men’s prison, both state officials and Hall’s attorney said.

It paves the way for other transgender inmates to make the same request unless the Oregon Department of Corrections creates an overarching housing policy for transgender and intersex prisoners, said attorney Tara Herivel.

Hall “is a woman in a male prison and I think at a very basic level, that is understood as being extremely dangerous and problematic by most people,” Herivel said.

“But this is an area where as we’re expanding our ideas as a culture of what gender identity is, it’s also really expanding in the legal arena and I think this is a very important first step.”

Hall filed a habeas corpus complaint in June 2018 challenging her incarceration at the Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla, contending the state was violating her constitutional rights by refusing to address physical and sexual harassment she endured.

She also sought to receive medical care via gender reassignment surgery and to be in a prison that corresponds with her gender identity.

An order Wednesday by Circuit Judge J. Burdette Pratt in Umatilla County calls for Hall to be housed either in a single cell, have a transgender cellmate or one who doesn’t identify as their sex assigned at birth.

The Corrections Department showed a “deliberate indifference” to Hall’s safety by placing her in a cell with male inmates, he said.

Since April, Hall, 34, has been at the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem, where she initially had a transgender woman as a cellmate but now has no cellmate. She first entered Two Rivers in 2009 and has had male cellmates.

Hall was convicted of sex crimes in 2007. She transitioned while in prison. Her earliest release date is in May 2021.

Hall was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a condition when people identify as a gender different from the one they were assigned at birth. Hall has presented as a woman since 2014 and has been on hormone therapy since 2016, according to court records.

One of the treatments for gender dysphoria is gender reassignment surgery, Hall’s complaint said. She was approved for the surgery by a corrections review committee last September, but the surgery hasn’t been arranged.

A guaranteed way to change your gender…

The judge said corrections officials “must do everything within their ability” to stop other inmates from verbally or sexually harassing Hall and to prevent staff from doing the same.

But Pratt also found that Hall didn’t prove the Corrections Department violated her constitutional rights. He stopped short of overturning the state’s decision to deny Hall’s request to be transferred to the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, the state’s only women’s prison.

The judge determined that prison officials weren’t indifferent to her safety in that instance because a Corrections Department committee that addresses the needs of transgender and intersex inmates considered her request and factored in Hall’s 2007 criminal convictions, which included sexual abuse of girls.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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Garbage propaganda: MTV announces dating competition show that features sexually-fluid cast

Just imagine the possibilities of what could be floating around in all their bodily fluids…

Thankfully my remote control won’t be going anywhere near this station.

From Daily Mail: MTV is breaking down barriers regarding sexuality and has announced its dating show cast this year will be the first ever in United States to all identify as sexually fluid.

In June, the broadcast network will air another season of ‘Are You The One?’ — which stars 16 men and women in their 20s, who will be dropped off in Hawaii in hopes of finding the ‘perfect match’ while also competing for a $1 million grand prize.

The cast members this year, though, are exclusively singles who identify as sexually fluid, meaning gender does not limit their options when finding a love interest.

Included with the cast is Dr. Frankie, a relationship expert, who will help guide the contestants on the show and offer love advice while the singles discover if anyone on the island is for them.

Subtle MTV, real subtle…

MTV also has TV star Terrence J. to host the reality show competition. His role will be to help guide the different contestants in their journey towards finding love.

Besides focusing on the negative dating trends like ghosting and benching to direct contestants towards healthier relationships, the show will also focus on gender identity.

The show aims to break down barriers and open up discussions about sexual fluidity by providing a platform for people who identify that way. With the help of the contestants, the show claims this season will focus on sharing powerful stories about people figuring out their sexual and gender identity.

The announcement of the reality show’s sexual-fluid cast comes after the network decided to rid gender classifications during awards shows, specifically the MTV Movie and TV Awards.

Instead of Best Actress and Actor categories, the channel now provides a single Best Actor award.
MTV was also a front-runner in previous shows that targeted issues relating to teenage pregnancy, relationships and sexual health.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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Medical tolerance: Steven Crowder poses as “pregnant transgender” at baby-killers Planned Parenthood

The insanity continues…

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Because children “know who they are.” California bill would limit genitalia surgery for children

Sponsor of this bill, Scott Wiener, who believes children are wholly equipped to make medical decisions.

Parental consent/control will be a thing of the past. Minors can now provide legal consent for/against medical surgeries!

Wonder what kind of impact this will have on medical malpractice insurance rates…

From SFGate: California doctors would be barred from treating or performing surgery on children born with genitals that don’t fit a single gender or are otherwise atypical unless it’s medically necessary or the child consents, under a bill unveiled Monday.

It’s the latest effort by state legislators to give minors more control over their bodies and gender identities. “The fundamental premise of the legislation is that people should make decisions about their own bodies,” said Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, the bill’s sponsor. “In California we strongly believe that people are who they are and that we shouldn’t be telling people who they are supposed to be.”

Doctors, though, said the bill may go too far in restricting how they can treat patients. The California Medical Association hasn’t taken a formal position on the bill but has “very serious concerns” that include the bill’s lack of a definition around when a minor is old enough to consent. “Our concern is that the approach in this bill may be being overly prescriptive and not give families and medical professionals the ability to take the specifics of each case into account,” Janus Norman, senior vice president for governmental relations, said in a statement.

The bill focuses on intersex minors, defined as someone who is born with atypical physical sex characteristics, which could include genitals or internal organs that don’t conform to a single gender.

InterACT, a nonprofit working to expand rights for intersex youth, estimates just less than 2 percent of the U.S. population has some type of intersex characteristic. That includes a broad range of characteristics ranging from an enlarged clitoris or a misplaced urethra opening on the penis to genitalia that don’t clearly match one gender.

About one in 2,000 babies are estimated to have visible genital differences putting them at risk of early surgery, said Kimberly Zieselman, the group’s executive director. Unnecessary surgeries could mistakenly identify a child’s preferred gender or, in cases unrelated to gender, leave scarring or affect future fertility, she said.

“It’s not just a gender issue,” Zieselman said. “There are a lot of other harms that happen to many intersex people as a result of the interventions that are psychological and physical.”

Under Wiener’s bill, doctors and parents wouldn’t be allowed to move ahead with treatment or surgery unless it is medically necessary, such as something that would prevent a child from urinating. Treatments or surgeries outlined in the bill include removal or reduction of the clitoris or removal of the ovaries or testis. It could also bar additional procedures not specifically outlined in the bill.

If a doctor considers surgery medically necessary, he or she would need parental consent. If the treatment isn’t necessary, the doctor and parents would have to wait until the child is old enough to give consent and obtain approval for any procedures.

The bill doesn’t define when a minor can give consent. It is intentionally vague, Wiener’s office said, and would rely on guidelines already in state law around when a child is able to consent on certain medical procedures. The California Medical Association cited that as a reason for concern.

“There are also serious questions about the nature and legal threshold for informed consent as used in the bill,” Norman said.

Under current medical guidelines, doctors form teams of experts, including psychologists or urologists, to evaluate each individual circumstance. Considering the physical and emotional health of the future child is a key piece of the evaluation, Norman said.

Under the bill, doctors could not be criminally held responsible if they violate the law but could be disciplined by the state’s medical board.

Wiener said his office will work with the medical association if it has constructive feedback.

DCG

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Fault line in the Left: Progressive playwright is blacklisted for dissenting from transgender groupthink

Libby Emmons is a New York playwright, writer and feminist whose play, “Wanting It,” was produced by the New York City theater company Working Man’s Clothes.

She now finds herself blacklisted because she refuses to subscribe to the Left’s totalitarian groupthink on malleable gender identity and “transgenderism”.

Below are excerpts from her essay, “Writing for Quillette Ended My Theater Project,” November 20, 2018:

It was suggested that I apologize, and that an apology might help. This wasn’t an assurance, but an idea—if I walked back what I had written, there might be a way forward. I looked around the table at these four women who knew me too well to believe that I would apologize for something I had written. Before each of us sat the full length script on which we’d spent several months collaborating. I’d formed this theater collective precisely to make a play based on a killer idea I’d had, and I’d asked each of these talented, thoughtful, intelligent, creative women to work with me.

We were only in the first few months of what was meant to be a year-long residency in a theater space in downtown Manhattan. What I wanted most of all was to develop this project. By the time it was suggested that I apologize, I knew full well that I wouldn’t, and that the project, the theater company, and the residency were all dead in the water.

At issue was an article I’d written for Quillette, entitled “The Transhumanism Revolution,” about three undercurrents of transhumanism presently circulating beneath Western culture: bio-hacking or grinding, AI, and trans gender ideology….

The lack of heterodoxy in Western universities has been extensively documented … many of the extreme ideas that percolate in universities then boil over into the arts, and, in the arts, dogmatic positions on gender identity are now the norm. Trans ideology has been met with a loving embrace, complete acceptance, and fighting words for any who dares to disagree in public….

In the arts community, as well as in universities, it is assumed that a specific gender, racial, sexual, or community identity determines opinions. It is widely believed that traditionally dominant identities produce opinions and ideas that must be considered suspect (i.e. those of the deplorable white women who voted for Trump), and taken with a tablespoon of salt. This is especially true when those ideas or opinions are interacting with ideas or opinions that are considered the purview of those whose identities have been historically disenfranchised. The higher up the privilege ladder you are perceived to be, the less you should have to say about any group occupying a lower rung. For example, my perceived identity as a cis straight white woman is a clear indicator that I should neither have nor express opinions about trans queer white men.

Women like me aren’t supposed to say that men aren’t women. We’re supposed to believe that some men are women. We’re supposed to believe that these men who really are women really believe that they are women, and that we should believe it too. Women like me are not supposed to speak about female erasure, because trans erasure is more important. Women like me aren’t supposed to express the opinion that womanhood is defined by more than mere appearances or performance. We’re supposed to defer to those men that really are women and respect their perspective of what it means to be a woman more than our own.

“You’re punching down,” my director announced from across the table, our scripts and a selection of snacks between us. She said that she’d been contacted my members of our theater community who had let her know that I had hurt them. These theater people wanted to make sure that she knew about the article I’d written and what people on social media were saying. The director reviewed the thread on my Facebook timeline from July, and determinedfor herself that I had participated in “trans erasure,” and hurt people by equating medical gender transition to rapidly growing trends in AI and body hacking….

“You are cis gender,” she informed me. “You need to educate yourself.”

“I am not cis gender,” I replied.

Note: Cisgender is a term for people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth.

Women like me are supposed to understand that we are privileged to be women in women’s bodies. Did I get that right? Privileged to be females who are perceived to be females? Is that it? Wait, privileged to be women who like being women? Maybe that’s it. We’re supposed to understand that it’s different for those who don’t like being in women’s bodies. Or who don’t like being in men’s bodies. I am supposed to understand this because I am a “cis gendered” woman.

For someone like me, who is identified as (as opposed to identifying as) a cis straight white female, to have ideas or opinions relating to trans ideology that are contrary to the progressive narrative recited by rote is already enough for me to be chastised by my community. I knew this, and I often kept quiet during conversations with others in the arts community when these topics arose. But, by espousing them in public, and then doubling down on social media, I had crossed a line drawn to keep my identity separate from certain contentious subjects.

If anything, it is the knowledge that I don’t identify with those things stereotypically female (high heels, makeup, being quiet while the men are talking) that has led me to believe that what society defines as belonging to the domain of women or the domain of men are not what make women and men what they are. Instead, it is our bodies that have the job of determining male and female, and the mind that is free to do as it pleases no matter the confines of the physical form. Yes, the physical form has its limits, and we ignore those limits at our peril. In college, I knew a PCP user who once uttered this truth: if there’s two of you, you can fly; if there’s one of you, well then you can’t fly. Because ideally one of the two will remember that the body has limits, and no flight capability.

“I don’t want to debate this with you,” my director said.

And that, of course, is the problem. No one wants to debate trans ideology. No one wants to talk about it at all other than to say it’s literally as glorious as unicorns shitting rainbows. I explained that I have no problem with pronouns, or bathrooms, or how people want to live, but that I don’t accept the identifier of “cis gendered,” I don’t think kids should be transitioned, and I don’t believe men can change into women or vice versa. I believe being a femme man doesn’t make you female and that men should be more accepting of their femme brothers. I argued that gender is performative and sex is innate, and that gender is not the soul, living somewhere deep inside us waiting to be realized.

“Don’t judge people,” my director advised, and went on to remark that I’d “really hurt people, you made them hurt, especially in a week where Trump said they didn’t have the right to exist.”

My exploration of the ideas behind transgender ideology was painful for people. But it was only a discussion of ideas. Because I had written about the ideas behind the social movement of individuals chemically and surgically altering their bodies so that they appear to be a member of the opposite sex, I was no longer welcome in the feminist theater company I had founded, and no longer welcome among those I had thought of as friends. Exploring a new idea in a longstanding philosophical debate regarding the interconnected nature of human mind and body was hurtful because it did not uphold the delusion that biological sex is malleable. I had committed apostasy against the new gender religion.

All of us around the table had attended liberal East Coast undergraduate universities, and had four graduate degrees between us, two of them held by a professor and a friend of over 20 years. This was an educated group. Stumbling into any downtown indie arts enclave will land you in the presence of enough degrees to warm the planet right out of existence. In the arts, bachelors degrees are standard, masters degrees are commonplace, and progressive orthodoxies are strictly enforced.

The basis of this enforcement is a kind of groupthink, derived from a politics of compassion, moral relativism, and privilege theory. Divergent opinions are not censored, they are self-censored. Artists who disagree do not speak up. To do so is to risk losing funding in an industry that relies almost entirely on philanthropic donations from organizations that routinely signal their virtue to one another, the artists they supposedly serve, and the progressive milieu at large. Artists who value their careers and industry friendships will not express views that put those things at risk. But I did. I knew what I was doing when I wrote it, although I must admit that I thought more highly of my intimate colleagues’ tolerance for controversy than was exhibited at our last meeting, or since.

Do we really think our era is so fraught and divisive that we must abandon our principles in order to achieve something that we absolutely will not achieve if we abandon our principles? It is neither reasonable nor possible to force everyone to believe a given ideology. People can be forced to espouse it, primarily through punitive measures such as imprisonment, blacklisting, gulags, etc., and social measures such as the denial of funding, denial of camaraderie, and denial of resources. But they can never be forced to believe it. It is to precisely this kind of ideological authoritarianism that my work has been opposed since I began writing.

The other women had been pretty quiet up until now. An old friend spoke up.

“Do you think you’ve done something wrong?” She asked.

“No,” I said.

“Then why would you apologize?” She asked.

“I wouldn’t,” I said.

And I won’t.

See also “American College of Pediatricians speaks truth on transgenderism

~Eowyn

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Raised with no coping mechanisms: Majority of college students says they’re stressed, many report suicidal thoughts

Maybe kids have a problem with self-identity because choosing from 31 genders is exhausting.

Maybe not everyone should be given a participation trophy.

Maybe kids shouldn’t be glued to smartphones.

Maybe kids should lay off the social media platforms.

Maybe we should let boys be boys.

Maybe girls should know that today’s feminism really isn’t their friend.

Maybe we shouldn’t teach white children that they are responsible for every racist problem because of their skin color.

Maybe political correctness is stifling our children.

Maybe progressive “values” aren’t that healthy for our children.

From Yahoo (via GMA): Sending a child off to college is an immense accomplishment for parents, who can finally breathe a sigh of relief. But teens on campus find a vastly different view of what a college environment is like, including its demands and challenges. A new study supports this, finding that students are much more stressed than parents, or anyone else, might realize.

The study, published in the medical journal Depression and Anxiety, found that mounting expectations, an evolving sense of self-identity, and the typical shock of leaving home for a new place are making college students more vulnerable to mental health risks, including suicidality.

Anxiety and depression rates have been rising, according to the study, which found three out of every four college students reporting at least one stressful life event within the past year — involving everything from social relationships to personal appearance to problems with family. Twenty percent said they experienced greater than five stressful life events within that same time frame.

“College is very stressful in an alarming way. That’s important for parents to be aware of,” lead author of the study Cindy Liu, PhD, a psychologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told ABC News.

Liu conducted the study by surveying over 67,000 college students from over 100 college campuses about their stress, anxiety and depression. They were also asked directly if they’d had suicidal thoughts or made attempts to harm themselves. One in five students said they had thought of suicide, while about one in 10 actually attempted it. Each of those statistics is more than double the national average for adults.

“Even if you have a student who is doing well in school, it doesn’t mean they aren’t dealing with something internally,” Liu said. “You have to peel back more layers. That is the real struggle for parents and colleges — identifying those students who are quietly enduring a significant mental health experience.”

The survey asked about 15 different types of mental health issues, ranging from anorexia to anxiety and panic attacks to addiction. Liu also highlighted one particularly nuanced strength of the study: it pinned down conflicts with self-identity. For example, those who identified as a sexual minority tended to have the highest rates of mental health diagnoses. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual students reported thoughts or actions related to killing themselves two to three times more often than heterosexual students. Transgender students, meanwhile, were among the highest in reported mental health diagnoses and suicidality.

Black and Hispanic students reported mental health diagnoses and self-harm at lower rates than whites; however, multiracial students were more likely to admit thoughts of suicide or previous attempts. These numbers are striking, but in reality, they could actually be worse than the study indicates, since stigmas surrounding sexual identity and mental health may have caused students to underreport their problems.

The findings add gravity to the well-known relationship between trauma, mental health, and suicide, and indicate that college, for some, is far from a carefree environment. It’s important that colleges and students realize the stress is real, and that they make adequate college-based mental health resources available.

For parents of college-bound students, these statistics are unsettling. They may indicate a greater need to pay attention to the mental health experiences of college students, especially when it comes to self-identity.

“Try to normalize the college experience and the stressors involved,” Liu said. “It is critical to think about their identity, and how that matters to their complete mental health experience.”

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Calif. students now given six ‘gender identity’ choices on college admissions applications

College Fix: Questions about gender identity and sexual orientation have been added to admissions applications used by the University of California system, including no less than six choices for students when checking off their “gender identity.”

One new question posed to those seeking admittance to the system – which educates 233,000 students enrolled in 10 campuses statewide – is “How do you describe yourself? (Mark one answer).”

The choices are: “male; female; trans male/trans man; trans female/trans woman; gender queer/gender non-conforming; and different identity.”

The application also asks “what sex were you assigned at birth, such as on an original birth certificate?” and the two choices are: male or female.

The questions are voluntary and responses to the questions will not impact admissions decisions, Shelly Meron, a spokesperson for the UC Office of the President, told The College Fix via email.

The questions were added in response to legislation passed in 2011 that requested the system provide students, faculty and staff an opportunity to report their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression on forms used to collect demographic data, Meron stated. Another question added to the application this year asks students’ sexual orientation, and offers “heterosexual or straight,” “gay or lesbian,” or a fill in the blank category.

“Allowing the LGBT community to self-identify also supports the university’s priority of creating an inclusive and welcoming campus environment,” Meron stated in an email to The Fix. “Responses will also provide UC campuses with data that will help us better understand and meet the diverse needs of our students.”

These changes underscore additional modifications made recently to accommodate LGBTQ students and faculty.

“In 2014, UC began adjusting its student record systems to allow students to indicate a preferred name to appear on campus records along with their legal name. And many campuses have already begun converting single-stall restrooms into gender-neutral facilities in existing buildings, where practicable,” according to UCR Today.

“In addition, the university is initiating a two-year project designed to coordinate and promote interdisciplinary study of genders and sexualities across the UC system,” UCR Today added.

The project will include convening UC stakeholders to identify ways to advance student learning about LGBT issues, and conclude with a systemwide symposium that will showcase research from students and faculty in the field of genders and sexualities.”

As for the application changes, student opinion on the issue is divided, with some students happy to see the amendments and others skeptical of the university’s intentions.

Shannon Frick, a senior aerospace engineering student at the University of California San Diego, told The College Fix in an email that “I think that putting it on there might actually open it up to claims of discrimination.” He also said he believes in a merit system, and he questioned how adding the question to the application could preserve such a system.

On the flipside, 2015 UCLA graduate and political science major Tyler Kroteskey told The College Fix, “Provided it is used for research purposes as opposed to influencing admissions decisions, I see the move to allow UC applicants to voluntarily list their gender and sexual orientation as a positive step.”

He went on to say that the demographic data could help the campuses better provide resources to students. Among solutions that could be proffered to “meet the diverse needs of students” are more “gender neutral” bathrooms. For example, the UC Berkeley “Bathroom Brigade” contends it is inconvenient for some students to use the restroom because only a third of Berkeley buildings have gender neutral restrooms.

There is a small but growing minority of colleges that have a sexual orientation question on their application.

The college to start the trend, Elmhurst College in Illinois, began listing a sexual orientation question in 2011. Since then, MIT, Boston University, University of Pennsylvania, and several others have hopped on the band wagon. This year Duke University and all UC campuses followed suit.

DCG

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