Earlier this month, the U.K.’s National Health Service released the Cass Review, a report that urged Great Britain to pump the breaks on the experimental, sterilizing treatments marketed as “gender affirming care.” By contrast, earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Education issued its new Title IX regulations, which require public schools to facilitate a school-to-sterilization pipeline.

According to the Biden administration, Title IX of the Civil Rights Act now requires schools to treat students who suffer, or claim to suffer, from gender dysphoria as though they were the opposite sex. As the Cass Review argues, this is essentially a medical intervention. If you require teachers and students to treat a girl who thinks she is a boy as though she were a boy, you increase the likelihood that she will persist in that belief. The longer she does, the more likely she is to seek sterilizing hormone treatments and mutilating surgical interventions.

This is what Moms for Liberty called “grooming” back in 2021. At the time, the media compared this reaction with QAnon accusations of elite pedophile rings. But parental-rights activists pointed out that the description fit the stated position of major educational organizations. The National Education Association, for example, had passed a resolution declaring that teachers could influence children’s gender identity and ought to have total legal freedom to do so. And the organization behind the CDC-endorsed National Sex Education Standards is named SEICUS: Sex Ed for Social Change. If influencing children’s gender and sexuality to advance a social agenda isn’t grooming, what is it? Last weekend, Bill Maher offered liberals another term for this practice: entrapment.

Whether you call it entrapment or grooming, the Biden administration is now requiring all American public schools to affirm that children can be born in the wrong body. How exactly will that work?

For starters: a boy who says he’s a girl must be granted access to the girls’ bathroom or locker room. Because the Biden administration requires no documentation to affirm gender identity, and indeed because it refused to define gender identity at all, a boy could identify as a girl “fluidly.” The federal government protects his right to be a girl only when he enters a girls’ bathroom.

In addition, teachers and students must refer to a gender dysphoric child by her preferred pronouns and alternative name. The Biden regulation magnanimously allows that a “stray” “misgendering” doesn’t automatically violate Title IX. But by logic—and by the administration’s own past enforcement practice—if several people “misgender” a student, or if someone “misgenders” a student several times, then the school risks losing all federal funding if it doesn’t remedy the situation.

The policy of secretly socially transitioning students will spread even further. Currently, more than 10 million students attend schools that will socially transition them without their parents’ knowledge or consent. The regulation says that Title IX doesn’t strictly require that transitioning be concealed from parents. But it does say that in the event of a conflict between Title IX and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, Title IX overrides. If a child says she doesn’t want her parents to know, the Biden administration insists that the school will be totally compliant with federal law by keeping it secret.

This regulation will essentially help facilitate the sterilization of gay and autistic children in blue states on a scale that nineteenth-century eugenicists could only have imagined. Parents in red states that have outlawed these experimental medical interventions can’t necessarily rest easily, however. California has passed a law that would effectively strip parents of their custodial rights if their child travels there to access puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones. And any parent who enrolls a child in a U.S. public school is now sending them to an institution required to operate on the premise of a fundamental falsehood.

Republican politicians have been conspicuously quiet about the new Title IX regulation. Perhaps because they’re uncomfortable stating flatly that gender ideology is false, congressional Republicans are not actively fighting the new Title IX mandate on gender-affirming schooling. They would prefer to battle the Biden administration on its plan to use Title IX to mandate that men can participate in women’s sports, but the administration has denied them that debate until after the election, relegating the sports issue to a separate regulation that it waited nine additional months to propose. 

The fight over the new gender standards for schools will instead play out in the courts. In the weeks to come, state attorneys general will file suit. The regulation will almost certainly be enjoined, and then eventually overturned by the Supreme Court. But not before transitioning the default social setting of American public schools to embrace gender ideology.

In the interim, parents should ask school board members whether they plan to comply with Biden’s Title IX regulation. If the answer is yes, then traditionalist parents should look into transitioning their children—to private schools. Parents should also ask Republican state lawmakers if they support universal school choice. If the answer is no, then parents will know that these lawmakers essentially endorse teaching students that gender ideology is true.

Photo: Peter Dazeley/Photodisc via Getty Images


City Journal is a publication of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (MI), a leading free-market think tank. Are you interested in supporting the magazine? As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, donations in support of MI and City Journal are fully tax-deductible as provided by law (EIN #13-2912529).

Further Reading

Up Next