The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

January 15, 2014

Our crazed sexuality standards

The New York Times brings us the “next frontier in fertility treatment.” It’s about dissolving the prejudice against transgender people having children. “Andy Inkster, a transgender man, had always wanted biological children. So when he embarked on the transition from female to male at age 18 — changing his name, taking testosterone and eventually undergoing surgery to remove his breasts — he left his female reproductive organs intact. In his mid-20s, he decided it was time. He stopped taking testosterone and started trying to get pregnant.”

Baystate Reproductive Medicine turned Inkster away, explaining that it didn’t have enough experience with transgender people to provide the hormones and donor sperm required. “Mr. Inkster eventually found another clinic that helped him conceive via in vitro fertilization and donor sperm, and in October 2010, he gave birth to a daughter, Elise. A month later, he sued Baystate for sexual discrimination.” The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination agrees with Inkster.

I never thought I’d see the words “he gave birth to a daughter” outside of science fiction, and at the risk of seeming insensitive, I think Baystate fertility clinic was right. But it’s not surprising that the civil rights commission of Massachusetts has taken up this cause. It occupies the juncture of two appalling trends. The first is an obsession with sexuality as identity, and the second is a devaluing of the best interests of children in favor of the self-expression of adults.

There are limitless identities that students could be encouraged to cultivate as they mature. A handful that leap immediately to mind: American, humorist, musician, athlete, debater, nature lover. Instead, our universities fall all over themselves to encourage unusual sexual identities, from homosexuality and lesbianism to transgender, bisexual, transsexual and other. It’s all done in the name of “inclusion” and nondiscrimination, but let’s face it, there’s an element of fashion in it. Nontraditional sexual behavior is “in.” There are academic courses on offer at major universities concerning “queer theory,” pornography, and “lesbian gardening.” (Truly.) How can any serious academic treat pornography as a fit subject for college study? It’s more than a devaluation of the life of the mind; it’s an assault on human dignity.

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