Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri — the second-oldest women-only college in the country — has announced that it will begin accepting admissions applications from transgender students in the fall of 2019. According to the school’s website, it has defied science and “expanded its definition of womanhood.”
The college boasts that the world’s “understanding of and definition of womanhood is changing, and Stephens is evolving.” In other words, the school is now “woke.”
The college’s new policy officially states:
The College’s undergraduate residential women’s program will continue to admit and enroll students who are women and who live as women, just as it always has. It will also admit and enroll students who were not born female, but who identify and live as women; those students will need to provide legal documentation that they are legally women or that they are transitioning to female.
Because the College has expanded its definition of womanhood to include both sex and gender, it is logically consistent that it also acknowledges both sex and gender in its definition of manhood. As a result, the College will stop admitting and enrolling students who were born female but who now identify as men or who are transitioning from female to male.
The policy change came after a unanimous vote by the school's board of trustees, though it had been under consideration since 2014, the Christian Post reports, after the Obama administration issued new administrative guidelines that defined “gender identity” as an individual’s “internal sense of being male or female.”
The school announced the policy change via e-mail.
“Consistent with that mission, admission and continued enrollment in Stephens College’s undergraduate residential program will be restricted exclusively to women, including students who are legally identified as female and who self-identify as women; students who document an ongoing transition to female and who self-identify as women; and students who are legally identified as female but do not fit within the gender binary,” the e-mail said.
Some students have raised concerns over the announcement.
“We are required to live on campus, so how are the dorm arrangements going to go?” Stephens College student Sally Russell told news station KOMU-TV. “If someone has male genitalia and is living within the women’s dorms, people have been really scared since a lot of people on campus have roommates and share bathrooms.”
Stephens College is not the first to change its policy to allow for the acceptance of transgender students, the U.K. Independent reports. Mills College in Oakland, California, was the first, followed by Wellesley, Smith, Bryan Mawr, and Barnard.
The policy changes are indicative of a larger trend that is taking place across the country as institutions are shirking science to appease a very small minority. Contemporaneous with this announcement, a transgender woman serving a 10-year sentence in Illinois for burglary has been moved from a men's prison to a women's prison after a year-long legal battle. The move was in defiance of the Illinois Department of Corrections but was mandated by a federal court, which found that the inmate’s equal protections were violated by the department’s refusal.
Institutional policy changes such as these fly in the face of science, in which there is no basis for transgenderism. Experts contend transgenderism is a symptom of gender dysphoria, a mental disorder, and that conditioning individuals to accept transgenderism rather than treating it as a mental disorder does more harm than good.
According to a 2016 study in The New Atlantis, individuals who opt for sex reassignment have “a higher risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes” and are five times more likely to attempt suicide.
Young people, in particular, are endangered by the “woke” culture, which attempts to treat transgenderism as “normal.” According to a 2016 position statement released by the American College of Pediatricians entitled “Gender Ideology Harms Children,” any policies that foster the belief that gender dysphoria is anything beyond a psychological problem can be quite harmful.
The authors of that position statement made several scientific observations, including that human sexuality “is an objective biological binary trait.” Children who use hormones to attempt to mimic a sex that is not their own have a number of dangerous physical and mental risks, the position statement advised, adding that “conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful” can be classified as child abuse.
Unfortunately, standing up for science has become unpopular when it comes to identity politics, and the institutions that should be fighting to protect science are more concerned with having a reputation for being open-minded, even if it brings harm to the very people they believe they are protecting.
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