The idea that biological sex is "assigned" at birth is being enshrined in the official curriculum of one of the nation's largest public school districts. Medical doctors and feminists maintain this is a case of an ideology endangering women and girls and an affront to science.
In Fairfax County, Virginia, which neighbors Washington, D.C., and is home to more than 1 million people, ongoing controversy has surrounded the public school board's push to advance a family life education curriculum that includes 80 hours of sex ed for every public school child.
Last month, "biological sex" had been declared "essentially meaningless" by Dan Press, one of the most liberal members of the 26-member board, and the phrase was removed from the lessons. Students will now be told that sex is "assigned at birth." The entire medical establishment was behind this idea of doctor-assigned sex, he said at the time.
In opposition, Laura Murphy, who serves on the Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee, presented a three-minute response to the notion that sex is assigned and not determined by genetics, at the last meeting on April 12, as reported by The Stream. She cited numerous sources to make the case that "biological sex" should be placed back in the curriculum.
"We discussed this last time. Let's move on," Press reportedly said of Murphy's objections. The committee did indeed move on, voting 24-2 to proceed.
The proposed revisions to the sex ed lessons also currently suggest that if a student has "concerns" with sexual orientation and gender identity, he or she should speak with a trusted adult, removing "clergy" from the list of trusted adults.
In a Sunday letter to the editor in the Fairfax County Times, Robert Rigby Jr., president of FCPS Pride, insisted that they were not attempting to eliminate biology, echoing Press, and deferred to medical "experts" on the semantics of sexuality.
"[T]he term we used to use, 'biological sex,' is broader and less well defined that what we used to think" and that "we are learning through scientific studies that there are genetic, hormonal and developmental (that is, biological) components of gender identity," he wrote, listing the support of 19 medical and professional associations.
"When a child is born, the attendant (doctor or midwife) looks at the child's visible anatomy, makes a determination (assigns) and puts that on the birth certificate. This is the gender with which the child grows up in their early years."
He continued saying that he expects a "brief learning curve" in teaching that sex is assigned at birth, arguing that it should be taught starting in 7th grade and children will soon understand it and he hopes no one feels "erased" by it.
Medical doctors who spoke with The Christian Post Monday noted that this is a case of ideology overtaking science.
"Sex is established at fertilization. It always has been and always will be. Every physician in every medical organization knows this, and yet, it seems virtually every 'mainstream' medical organization now denies it — backing the verbiage 'sex assigned at birth,'" commented Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians.
"How can so many large medical organizations turn their backs on science? Maybe science really has changed? Rest assured, 'sex assigned at birth' is still political agenda trumping science.'"
She went on to explain that one of the reasons this occurs is because official positions of these medical guilds are determined by a tiny fraction of their membership, a fraction largely self-selected into various specialty committees.
"For example, the [American Academy of Pediatrics] policies on LGBT issues are determined by a maximum of 30 pediatricians. None of AAP's other 66,000 members have any input whatsoever," she said.
Dr. Joseph Zanga, founder of ACP, said in an email to CP Monday that although the idea that sex is assigned a birth is "insane" it is in line with the public approach of many professional organizations.
"The majority of them exist and are financially supported by commercial interests who in turn, as do the organizations themselves, fear the most vociferous groups," Zanga said.
"Some of their members also are paid to prescribe hormones, do sex change surgery, etc. I've watched this play out for decades in the American Academy of Pediatrics," he explained.
As societal pundits have previously dispensed with other things they came to consider unfashionable — such as the widely held belief that children are best raised in a home headed by a married mother and father — medical and professional groups have moved onto the latest politically correct cause, he continued.
"So it isn't surprising that they would now say that even preschoolers should be able to decide whether they are boys or girls, male or female," Zanga said, adding that these same organizations recognize the brain research, which is now more than 20 years old, "whose antecedents are found in the writings of Socrates and Shakespeare, that children are incapable of making such decisions until their mid 20s."
He concluded: "They even pronounce that these same children aren't mature enough to choose to be tan, to smoke, drink alcohol, and still are holding the line against children using pot. Most of those positions still hold because there is no 'political' support for change, not yet anyway."
"When asked for the science supporting their position on allowing children to make decisions they are incapable of making, they refer to the opinions of others as the science because there really is no support in science for what they say."
Kara Dansky, a board member of the radical feminist group Women's Liberation Front, says there is no such thing as assigning sex at birth and that the entire concept of "gender identity" is misogynistic.
"Gender is a set of sex-based stereotypes that is designed to keep women and girls in positions of subservience. From a feminist perspective, gender is the problem, not the solution," Dansky explained to CP.
"It is also homophobic, in that it denies the rights of people to have same or opposite sex attractions. Suggesting that a male person can 'identify' as a woman is extremely insulting to those of us who actually know what it is like to be female, and who have experienced a lifetime's worth of harassment and abuse because of our sex."
She added that human beings are sexually dimorphic mammals, noting that saying so is neither conservative nor bigoted, and is not even particularly political but basic biology; except for a small percentage of people with chromosomal anomalies, humans are either female or male, a fact that can be known in utero.
"All people have a sex, not 'biological aspects,' and it is not true that all people have a 'gender identity,' she said of the arguments in the FCT letter.
"Women and girls have been held in positions of social and political subjugation for thousands of years precisely because we are female, not because of some vague sense of identity. Of course all people should be welcome, but it does not logically follow that a particular belief cannot be challenged. 'Gender identity' ideology results in the erosion of female-only spaces and the eradication of the category 'women and girls' for civil rights enforcement. Anyone who goes along with it is nothing other than a misogynist."