A decade ago, most Americans had never had a conversation about transgender issues. Now a question few had asked has only one acceptable answer. “Transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time,” President Biden tweeted in January 2020. “There is no room for compromise when it comes to basic human rights.”
Can we talk about that?
We might want to talk about what policies are best when it comes to athletics, for example. Should high-school girls be losing championship races to boys who identify as girls? How about female-only spaces, like shelters for victims of domestic violence? Should women in dire straits be forced to spend the night with men who identify as women?
And what’s causing the surge in the number of girls seeking sex-reassignment procedures in the past decade? Might we want to find that out before we rush to conclude that puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormone therapies—and even double mastectomies for 13-year-olds—are a human right?
We should take a lesson from the United Kingdom. In September 2018, the U.K.’s minister for women and equalities launched an investigation into why girls increasingly feel uncomfortable with their bodies. In December 2020 a U.K. court put strict restrictions on the ability of doctors to “transition” a minor—after one minor who had done so sued the National Health Service because of the irreparable damage adults had inflicted upon her body.