On December 4, 2018, the American College of Pediatricians, the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, and the Catholic Medical Association, representing over 30,000 health professionals across the nation, sent a letter applauding the Trump Administration’s intention to uphold the scientific definition of sex in federal law and policy. This letter is also endorsed by 32 legal organizations, policy groups, and independent physicians, therapists and academics, including bioethicists. 
The letter (read below) details how the previous administration’s unprecedented guidance to conflate gender identity with sex in law and policy is unscientific, potentially medically dangerous, and has already proven harmful to girls and women.

Sex is a biological trait that defines living things as male and female based on the complement of sex chromosomes and the presence of reproductive organs. “XY” and “XX” are genetic markers of male and female, respectively, and are found in every cell of the human body. Sex is established at conception, declares itself in utero, and is acknowledged at birth.  

The final result of sex development in humans is unambiguously male or female over 99.98% of the time. “Intersex” is a term that encompasses a variety of congenital disorders of sex development that result in sex ambiguity and/or a mismatch between sex chromosomes and appearance regardless of cause. These disorders occur in less than 0.02% of all births and do not constitute additional sexes. Sex is not a spectrum.

As biologist Dr. Colin Wright states, “The claim that classifying people’s sex upon anatomy and genetics ‘has no basis in science’ has itself no basis in reality, as any method exhibiting a predictive accuracy of over 99.98% would place it among the most precise methods in all the life sciences.”

Individuals who identify as transgender remain either biological males or females. This fact has bearing upon their health due to sex-specific illnesses and more. Diseases that affect both sexes often have different frequencies, presentations and responses to treatments in males and females; therefore, different preventative, diagnostic, and treatment approaches may be required for males and females. 

Compassion for those who identify as transgender must never eclipse the reality of sex. The rights and well-being of all Americans – including those who trans-identify – depends on it. If you agree, you may add your signature here.

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Photo Credit: Sarah Stierch (CC BY 4.0)

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