Biden puts girls at risk to advance radical transgender agenda

October 31, 2022

By Alexandra Caro Campana and Jonathan Pidluzny

Washinton Times 

An examination of his administration's proposal to rewrite Title IX regulation.

The Biden administration’s proposal to rewrite the Department of Education’s Title IX regulation drew almost a quarter million public comments in September.

The swell of interest suggests that the public senses all that is at stake. The new rule will endanger young women where they should feel safest, deprive female students of educational opportunities, erode parental rights, and ultimately turn K-12 public schools into ideological training camps.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which forbids discrimination based on sex, has long been interpreted as requiring school personnel to prioritize preventing sexual harassment. It is best known for equalizing opportunity in collegiate athletics for women. In recent years, however, the focus has been on campus investigations into sexual misconduct (and frequent due process failures by campus administrators).

By expanding the definition and scope of sexual harassment to include gender identity and sex characteristics and by broadening the definition of what counts as harassment, the proposed rule will require all schools that receive federal funds to make extraordinary accommodations for trans-identifying students.

The mandates are blunt, and the accompanying commentary is ambivalent about how biological female students will be affected. For example, instead of allowing schools to provide a private bathroom for trans-identifying students, the rule requires school officials to make female facilities available to biological male students. We already know from bathroom sexual assaults at schools that were early adopters of such reforms that this will create inexcusable threats to the safety and well-being of young women.

The proposed regulation will also undermine the core purpose of Title IX, which Congress passed to open educational opportunities to women. Owing in large part to the measure’s success, today, 47% of Division I college athletes (and 59.5% of all college students) are female. The Biden administration’s rule threatens to reverse that progress.

When female athletes do not feel safe competing against athletes with the size and strength advantages conferred by male puberty or do not feel comfortable changing in the same room with athletes sporting male genitalia, they will have a bona fide Title IX complaint — but they will be forced to make their case to the very offices working to redefine womanhood. And that is to say nothing of the female records that are already being erased by biological male athletes, or the opportunities that will be denied to them — to compete at the highest levels or earn college scholarships — as the number of biological males competing in female athletics increases.

But the rule’s most profound consequences will be deeper yet. K-12 school districts have already interpreted nondiscrimination mandates as requiring school personnel to support students in their social transition from one gender to another — even when they know the student’s parents would object. As a result, schools are developing policies that forbid parental notification if parents might not support their child’s gender transition.

The proposed rule will also transform the intellectual environment in detrimental ways. In an attempt to prevent anti-trans harassment, the rule establishes processes and policies that make speech reportable supposedly only if it interferes with a student’s education. But in practice, this can mean the emergence of strict speech codes that impede on freedom of conscience. Already, eighth graders have been investigated for sexual harassment for refusing to use the plural pronoun “they” to refer to a classmate. When Florida passed a law strengthening parental rights, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona issued a press release encouraging young children to report school officials to the Office of Civil Rights.

In practice, the regulation will be enforced in ways that require public schools to become places that celebrate gender transition enthusiastically while discouraging the kinds of conversation that young people facing anxiety about their gender or sexual identity might find (or claim to find) discomfiting. We are already seeing professors shunned — by their students — for daring to venture the opinion that biological sex differences are real. Who will dare to teach that biological sex differences are written into every cell’s chromosome when students and faculty begin reporting each other to the Title IX coordinator for venturing offensive ideas?

And that, ultimately, is the point: to engineer a new educational landscape that is fanatically hostile to traditional understandings of sex differences, family and sexual development.

The new, federally mandated gender identity narrative will advance the left’s ideological agenda but at immense cost to young people, especially girls. The explosion of gender dysphoria is disproportionately affecting young women (in the U.K., cases are up 4,400% over the last decade). Growing up is hard, especially in our social media age, even for the most confident young people.

For those who experience anxiety about their sexual identity or body image, the teenage years can be a terrible, emotionally taxing time. The last thing the national government should be doing is encouraging schools to teach anxious girls that becoming a boy is a simple way to solve those problems. In fact, they are the most in need of patient and understanding mentorship — loving mothers and role models — who can help them navigate the challenges of growing up so that they, too, can mature into confident, self-actualized women.

Alexandra Caro Campana is the director of the Center for 1776 and the Center for Opportunity Now at the American First Policy Institute. Jonathan Pidluzny is the director of the America First Policy Institute’s Higher Education Reform Initiative.