by Leor Sapir
Saturday, 25
June 2022
Analysis
13:29

Biden’s Title IX change is dangerous for kids

A bad policy from the Obama years is being made much worse
by Leor Sapir
Credit: Alex Wong via Getty

Last week, the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released its proposed new regulations under Title IX, the law enacted exactly 50 years ago that prohibits discrimination “on the basis of sex” in education. In addition to weakening protections for students accused of sexual misconduct — thus moving campuses closer to the draconian Obama-era rules that even liberal and feminist law professors argued were an abomination of justice — the proposed rules would require schools to treat students according to their “gender identity” in virtually all areas of school life.

To those following the tortuous story of Title IX, OCR’s proposed regulations are no surprise. Last October, President Biden reappointed Catherine Lhamon to lead OCR. A duplicitous bureaucrat and crusading ideologue, Lhamon had served in the same role under Obama and was a major force behind catapulting Title IX to the center of the American culture wars. OCR’s decision to redefine “sex” as “gender identity” is troubling for three main reasons.

First, it would further cement school practices surrounding name changes and pronouns that defer uncritically, and often without parental involvement or notification, to students’ gender self-identification. In other words, it would facilitate what in the clinical literature is known as “social transition.” A consistent finding in studies on youth gender dysphoria is that the vast majority of youth who are not “affirmed” in their gender self-identification will desist (meaning come to accept their bodies) over time, while the vast majority who are “affirmed” will persist in their trans identity. The new Title IX regulations will increase pressure on schools to put kids experiencing temporary gender distress on a path toward hormones and surgeries, with life-long and potentially devastating consequences.

Second, the regulations would add incentives for risk-averse school administrators to allow trans interest groups like Human Rights Campaign, Gender Spectrum, and myriad Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSA) to dictate their institutional culture and policies. Faced with the constant threat of legal action by trans interest groups (especially Lambda Legal, the Transgender Law Center, and above all, the ACLU), schools have decided that the safest course of action is to defer to those who have the capacity and motivation to shame them in the court of public opinion or sue them in a court of law. The effect of OCR’s new rules would be to place schools in the receivership of unaccountable and ideologically extreme special interest groups.

Third, the new regulations mislead the public about a key Supreme Court ruling from 2020, Bostock v. Clayton County. That case dealt with employment discrimination, not education — meaning adults, not children — and was litigated under Title VII, not Title IX. Trump-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch, who wrote the majority opinion, went out of his way to explain that the Court’s decision did not ensconce “gender identity” as the true meaning of “sex.” Thus, Gorsuch clarified, “we do not purport to address bathrooms, locker rooms, or anything else of the kind” — in other words precisely those areas of policy where the meaning of male and female is relevant and where Title IX is being used to change school policy. Nevertheless, a number of lower courts have interpreted Bostock as requiring the redefinition of “sex” as “gender identity.” The Biden administration is now doing the same.

The Biden administration has been doubling down on the “affirming” approach to youth gender distress at precisely the same time as other countries have been moving in the opposite direction. For reasons both electoral and ideological, Democratic party officials seem uninterested in bringing gender identity policies into conformity with current scientific and medical standards. The new Title IX rules would almost certainly enflame what is undoubtedly one of the biggest public health crises of our time. If there is one silver lining here, it is that the notice-and-comment process, which OCR has agreed to follow, can take months and even years to complete. If a Republican wins the presidency in 2024, he or she would probably kill the proposed regulations on day one in office.

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Jim Jam
Jim Jam
3 months ago

‘Biden’s title XI change’

Not wishing to let him off the hook, but let’s be real here – the man isn’t in control of the words that tumble out of his mouth, let alone the policies he’s been persuaded to announce.

While people everywhere look on at horror at the detachment the leader of the free world has with reality, for those lunatic ideologes in his inner circle, it’s a gift that keeps giving.

As the article rightly warns, the implications of this latest policy decision will be grave – just like the ‘defund the police’ and other such ‘initiatives’. And while it’s depressing to consider the collateral damage, it is at least a step towards the public at large banishing this preposterous administration and undoing their stupid policies the moment they get the chance.

Last edited 3 months ago by Jim Jam
Helen E
Helen E
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

Title IX, rather. And agree, completely.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

I feel the same way. I think progressives have to be allowed to really crash the plane as a lesson for everyone about ideological governance. Luckily the Biden administration is up to the job. As is Canada’s and most the western world these days. The Democrats are pretty much on the wrong side of everything – on issues that are impacting many people. I noticed Germany is burning coal again and trying to get the G7 to back off some of its lunatic attacks on the oil industry. Good luck with that. I think a few summers and winters with blackouts, rationing and energy poverty are in order to teach us all a lesson. Then we can send woke politicians to their room without dinner for a decade or so as penance for their colossal stupidity and arrogance.

R Wright
R Wright
3 months ago

Give it a decade and personal injury lawyers will have reversed all of this nonsense. The only relics of the era will be a few thousand sterilised aging hippies and some new case law in a textbook slotted in somewhere behind the mesothelioma cases. Let’s hope it’s sooner than that.

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
3 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

Nail on the head and neatly put to boot.

Jason Highley
Jason Highley
3 months ago

My daughter is entering first grade this year. If I hear one whisper of this insanity infecting her classroom time, I’m pulling her out and never looking back. This is absolutely sickening.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
2 months ago
Reply to  Jason Highley

Well they will tell her not to speak to you about it – and take active steps to hide it from parents. Maybe they can all bring stuffed toys to school and introduce them with their pronouns! Or identify the racists in their households! So you may need to send her in with a wire tap if you want to know what is going on. If my kids were still young I would be holding my nose and rediscovering my Catholic faith just to get my kids out of the public school system. That would be hypocrisy of the very highest order for me – but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Last edited 2 months ago by Gunner Myrtle
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
3 months ago

This week the Supreme Court decided a case where a religious school was excluded from a state funding programme because the state is secular, and they decided the school should be able to access this state funding. Unsurprisingly, the left wing media ranted about the blurring of boundaries in a secular state.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/21/supreme-court-maine-religious-schools/

But this article about state legal protections for ideological beliefs, that are not based on scientific facts, regarding gender status highlights how the left wing has already blurred the boundaries in the secular state by legalising their ideological beliefs that are no more factual than religious beliefs. So there is nothing wrong with religious institutions in the USA being accommodated in this supposedly secular establishment.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ian Stewart
frances saldanha
frances saldanha
2 months ago

Wake up wake up