New England Journal of Medicine Calls To Eliminate Gender on Birth Certificates

by Adan Salazar

Sex designations on birth certificates should be removed because they may offend intersex and transgender people, advocates a new article published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In a piece titled “Failed Assignments: Rethinking Sex Designations on Birth Certificates,” NEJM scientists claim genders appearing on birth certificates “offer no clinical utility” and argue for them to be eliminated or moved to a less prominent place on the form.

“Sex designations on birth certificates offer no clinical utility, and they can be harmful for intersex and transgender people,” the article, published Dec. 17, states. “Moving such designations below the line of demarcation wouldn’t compromise the birth certificate’s public health function but could avoid harm.”

Evidently, the entire basis for the NEJM wanting to reform birth certificates stems from the notion there are more than two genders.

Assigning sex at birth also doesn’t capture the diversity of people’s experiences. About 6 in 1000 people identify as transgender, meaning that their gender identity doesn’t match the sex they were assigned at birth. Others are nonbinary, meaning they don’t exclusively identify as a man or a woman, or gender nonconforming, meaning their behavior or appearance doesn’t align with social expectations for their assigned sex.

Elsewhere in the piece, the study’s authors advocate for the removal of gender from government documents, including state driver’s licenses and passports.

Passports and state identification cards relying on sex assigned at birth for identification pose another challenge. These documents are usually issued or renewed when the holder is an adolescent or an adult, however, so moving sex designations below the line of demarcation on birth certificates would permit applicants to identify their gender without medical verification. Governments could also remove gender designations from identification cards altogether and focus more on identifiable physical features and updated photographs. This change would accommodate nonbinary people and reduce the burdens associated with amending documents.

The highly-respected medical journal’s progressive recommendations dovetail with gender-bending steps being taken in other leftist nations like Canada, where the province of Ontario has moved to ban “mother” and “father” on government forms, and Sweden, where the government is undertaking steps to remove references to gender from federal legislation.

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