Biological sex is real. It is scientifically discoverable, even before birth, and genetically encoded in every cell of the body. Archaeologists can distinguish it even centuries after death. Biological sex, like other identifying information collected on birth certificates, is a verifiable material fact.
Biological sex never goes away. Hormone blockers or therapy may artificially alter the development or growth of the body, but once treatments are discontinued, the body’s natural genetically-directed, sex-specific programming will resume. Even surgery can only imitate the appearance, not the natural function, of the opposite biological sex.
In March 2018, a federal judge ruled, in an uncontested case, that Idaho had to begin accepting applications for changes of sex on birth certificates. The case was replete with language that equated sex with gender identity and, without any discussion of how this ruling would impact public policy or citizens generally, the time-tested, biology-based, legal definition of sex was effectively erased and replaced.
But wait– biological sex matters to every individual, including those who undergo hormone therapy and surgery. Because sex is programmed into every cell of the body; lab results, disease susceptibility, medicinal doses, and a host of other sex-specific characteristics persist regardless of hormone regimens or surgery. Inaccurate, or hidden, biological identification of sex endangers the health and well-being of these individuals and compromises professional providers.
Biological sex also matters to society at large. Many public and private policies and contracts include important sex-specific provisions. Medical doctors, law enforcement, and first responders depend on sex-specific practices. Sex-specific policies regarding college dorms, military service and the draft, athletic associations, summer camps, overnight accommodations on school field trips, restrooms, prisons, jails, mental health hospitals, youth organizations, and shelters protect the privacy and safety of all.
Automobile and health insurance companies base rates and benefits on research-driven, sex-specific differences. Statisticians, educators, and researchers rely on biology-based, sex-specific language and data. Churches implement faith-based, sex-specific policies. And the health and happiness of Idaho’s next-generation hinges on men and women filling biological, sex-specific roles in families as fathers and mothers.
Without a reliable biology-based definition of sex all of these policies and institutions are compromised.
When human lives, health, safety, and our most basic institutions are on the line, it’s better to be correct than politically correct. It’s time we tie Idaho birth certificates back to biological sex as outlined in the Idaho Vital Statistics Act, H 509.
Rep. Julianne Young
Rep. Julianne Young